I adapted this salad from one I ordered at Napolese in Indianapolis in April 2016. Take the time to make the pecan clusters, which are the key component. (As one of my guests said the first time I served it, “I could eat these like trail mix.”)
You Will Need:
- Fresh rosemary (one sprig)
- Pecans (1–2 handfuls–halves or pieces will work equally well)
- Sesame seeds (I use both white and black, about 1/2 tablespoon of each type)
- Salt (just a pinch)
- Honey (you can substitute maple syrup)
- Salad greens
- Fresh strawberries
- Balsamic vinegar
- Goat cheese
Rubber spatula or spoon from your silverware drawer
Toaster oven (or full oven) with baking tray
Spatula (not rubber)
Salad spinner or paper towels if you aren’t using pre-washed greens
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
2. Wash rosemary and chop into fine pieces.
3. In a small bowl, combine rosemary, pecans, sesame seeds, honey and a pinch of salt. Stir until the seeds and rosemary stick to the pecans in clumps.
4. Transfer the pecans to a baking sheet and toast until the pecans are roasted and the sugar is bubbly but not burnt (start checking on the nuts after five minutes, but it might take closer to 10).
5. Wash and dry the greens.
6. Check on the pecans and remove from oven if necessary.
7. Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries.
8. Remove the nuts from the oven and let them cool. When they are cool enough to handle but still pliable, use a spatula to scrape them back into the bowl.
9. Build your salad in layers: place a bed of greens on the plate, then sprinkle with strawberries, pecans, crumbled goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar.