Thursday, October 11, 2012

Patty’s Papaya and Goat Cheese Salad

Ron and I knew wed reached the end of the road. After traveling a thousand holiday miles, we’d fetched up against a locked, barred gate with the sign below affixed to it. Terror clutched at our hearts. The thought of active government experiments was frightening enough, but extreme nasal hair? We couldn’t risk it. Hurriedly packing our things, we high-tailed it home. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone?

We headed home in a hurry ... Wouldn't you?

Fortunately, there was only one repercussion.
But back to cooking. Bless our daughter-in-law, Patty. Knowing we’d had our fill of restaurant food, she recently prepared one of her knock-out salads. Patty is a gifted salad-maker who claims to toss together whatever she has in the cupboard and fridge. I do the same, but my salads are rarely inspirational, whereas Patty’s are extraordinary

Patty whipped up this outstanding salad in minutes, plating and decorating it in the kitchen for maximum wow-power. Trust me, Dollinks: This will be the best mixed greens salad you’ve ever tasted! Patty made it to serve 6.

Patty’s Papaya and Goat Cheese Salad:

To Prepare the Salad:

Spring mix greens (also called mesclun greens), including a little radicchio for color and crunch

Avocado/s, pitted, peeled, and sliced
Papaya/s, peeled and stones removed, diced
Walnuts, halved and toasted
Soft goat cheese, crumbled

Toss mesclun greens together in salad bowl. Prepare remaining ingredients, setting aside.

To Prepare the Dressing:

1-to-2 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
½ c. grapeseed oil
⅓ c. blood orange vinegar (see Note)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Shake dressing ingredients together in a lidded jar. Toss with greens, using just enough dressing to moisten the leaves, but not so much that dressing pools at the bottom of the salad bowl. Transfer salad to individual serving plates before bringing it to the table. Decorate each with 3 or 4 avocado slices, 3 or 4 pieces of diced papaya, and 4 or 5 toasted walnut halves. Crumble a small amount of soft goat cheese over all. 

Patty's Papaya and Goat Cheese Salad: In a word, FABULOUS!

Note: Blood orange vinegar is available in gourmet food stores. If you have none, Patty suggests using white wine vinegar seasoned with orange and lemon zest and/or a little orange juice for extra flavor.

Further Note: I like to chill my salad plates in the freezer. I’ve learned from experience to that placing them in a zippered plastic bag will keep them from from dripping with moisture as they
’re placed on the table.  

Tomorrow, it’s time for another of my occasional series titled Dinner Party!

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