Monday, March 4, 2013

Mary's Best-Ever Salad ~ My Most Requested Salad Recipe

Today I am sharing my most requested salad. If you like the ingredients below, you will LOVE this salad. Gorgonzola, apple, cherries, pecans and bacon, with a sweet balsamic dressing. Trust me, you will be going back for seconds...maybe thirds - it's that good!

I highly recommend using my salad dressing recipe below - no substituting. All the flavors together is what makes this salad so delicious.   

Mary's Best-Ever Salad:

Print Recipe 
  • 1 bag spring salad mix 
  • 1 bag romaine 
  • 3 oz bag of Oscar Mayer real bacon (It's best to make your own bacon - but I almost always cheat - applewood smoked bacon is awesome with this salad)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1 large granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans or almonds
  • 5 oz  Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbled
Clean lettuce, place in large bowl and top with ingredients - toss.  

  • You can add more or less of each ingredient - do what you prefer.  
  • Chop the apple right before serving to prevent it from browning.  
  • To toast almonds or pecans - place in skillet on medium high heat, stirring until they are toasted.
  • If you plan on serving the entire salad, go ahead and add the dressing a little at a time, blending until you reach desired amount.  If not, keep dressing separate and add individually.
  • This salad is great with grilled chicken tossed on top for a meal.

Mary's Sweet Balsamic Dressing 

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard (or a little squeeze of yellow or Grey Poupon mustard)
  • Few twists of fresh cracked pepper Or use 1/8 tsp of reg ground pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together, until sugar and oil are blended.  It takes a few minutes for the oil and sugar to blend.  Keep will blend.

If you make the salad, please let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!


Morgan said...

Mmmm delicious, I make something similar and it's one of my favorite salads!

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

Easy to see why this would be your most requested! It looks delicious. I don't know what it is about basalmic that I love so much! The apples and cherries are something I almost always have so this will be a handy one to have!

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Mary that looks and sounds divine! Pinning this

Julie said...

I have a rule of thumb (when entertaining or sharing food with friends) that I test - at least once before serving to those outside (my amazingly patient) family. I broke my own "rule" last night and brought this salad to a potluck type even though I had not tested it.

Wow. Just wow. Possibly the best salad I have ever eaten. Exceeded Trisha Yearwood's Strawberry Salad which is a fave. The salty, sweet yumminess is amazing. The only problem is I didn't bring enough so there wasn't any left for those those at the end of the line. I will say that I did cook my own good quality bacon until crazy crisp, used Maytag blue cheese, and used good quality balsamic.

Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Julie, Thank you so much for leaving this sweet comment! I am so glad you loved salad! Sorry you didn't make enough...:(

I'm making the salad for a bbq tomorrow! It's always a hit!

Kate said...

Definitely going to give this one a try ... you've used some of my favourite ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I make a salad just like this but I use Ken's Rasberry Vinegarette.

Dian Kim said...

Hi Mary,
I made this salad a few days ago, and that balsamic dressing has become my new favorite! I've even had salad for breakfast/brunch since.

Bright blessings to you and yours. Great blog.

Much love,

Dian Kim

Alice in Texas said...

This is my families new favorite salad. They come every Sunday for dinner and LOVE when I make this! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Marsha Baker said...

Awesome! This looks sooo good...would you fix it for me? ;-} I hate making salads at home, but just may have to give this one a whirl.

Anonymous said...

This is best salad and everyone loved it, wish I had made extra. Thank you!

Andrea Evangelista said...

This was delicious but I don't know what I did wrong with the dressing. It came out way too thick. It tasted good but I couldn't pour it on the salad. Any idea what could have gone wrong?

Mary N said...

Andrea, the salad dressing is thicker than most, but should not be too thick not to be able to pour.

Anne Daniels said...

I had the same problem with the dressing. It tastes really good, but is too thick. Should whisk it until the sugar dissolves? Also, wondering if thinning it out a bit with water would work?

Kris said...

You were right, this is excellent!!! My husband loved it and is still talking about it after dinner! Every bite has a burst of flavor. I would totally recommend this to everyone. Thanks for this great recipe.

Anonymous said...

Delicious! I didn't have an apple so subbed a pear. I also cut down a little on the sugar! One of my favorite salads!

Brenda Worley said...

I tried this recently and its now my favorite meal! The only change that i made was Stevia for sugar in the dressing. So yummy!

Janelle said...

Made this recipe for a work potluck lunch last month. I doubled the recipe and all but 1 scoop was left! Everyone was impressed that it was so easy to make and tasted so delicious. Will be making it for Thanksgiving now. :) I ended up substituting cherries for a bag of dried cranberries and blueberries, as well as instead of Oscar Meyer bacon bits I used Patrick Cudahy bacon bits. Those easy substitutes I was comfortable with knowing I wouldn't change the flavors of the salad.

Anonymous said...

This salad is a huge hit! Everyone I have made it for loves loves loves it :) It is such a great blend of flavours - Excellent "restaurant quality" recipe. If you want to impress your guests, add this salad to your menu! Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

I made this salad for a wedding I catered for 200 people! RAVE Reviews!!!

Mary N said...

I'm so happy so many people have given this recipe a try! I came up with this recipe when I was pregnant with our first child over 20 years ago. The dressing was tweaked from a spinach salad that called for eggs, onion and bacon - I switched the vinegar to balsamic...and then created the perfect salty, sweet, crunchy combination salad to cure my pregnancy craving. The rest is history. The dressing is what makes the salad. There are tons of similar salad recipes - but none have matched the combination of flavors like this one...the dressing ties all the flavors together perfectly. Any yes, the dressing is thick - and oh so good.

dhflaf said...

Looks amazing! I'm not sure if you've heard about this tip for keep apples from browning or not. Cut the apples and pour sprite pop over the apple. Let apple sit with all parts cover or you can keep tossing around the sprite, for about 3 minutes. Drain and put on salad or put in ziplock with air out of bag and keep in fridge. Found this out from a friend who brought apples and Dip to potluck. Amazed how white they were and no taste change either!