Homewood Gourmet’s Baby Blue Salad has been hailed by many as the best salad ever, and I agree. This is the perfect salad to place on your holiday table.
The Baby Blue Salad is not only one of the most popular items on the menu at Homewood Gourmet, but it is also heralded by many as the best salad ever. Before the recipe was shared, the only way to get this salad was to order it at the restaurant. Many a busy cook would pick up catering size trays of this salad to serve at dinners and special events. Now that the recipe is common knowledge (it was featured in My.Recipes.com in 2004), cooks everywhere can make and serve this salad to their hearts’ content.
Although not at all difficult to make, this salad does require a bit of time and effort to make the sweet & spicy pecans and the balsamic vinaigrette. Thankfully, both of these can be made ahead. To cut down on prep time, I always make the dressing and nuts a few days ahead, and I wash/slice fruit earlier in the day. Just before dinner, all that’s left is throwing salad ingredients together and tossing with dressing just before serving.
A note on nuts: The nuts per this recipe are good, but I actually prefer these Sweet & Spicy Sugar Glazed Nuts. The former are a bit more spicy hot; the latter are more spicy sweet. Try both, and see which ones your family prefers. You can’t go wrong either way.
A note on balsamic vinegar: Where balsamic vinegar is concerned, supermarket offerings consist of the good, the bad, and the ugly. A poor quality balsamic vinegar can literally ruin a dressing (or anything else). I use Lucini Gran Riserva Balsamico, recommended by Cook’s Illustrated. An 8.5 oz bottle is $14.00, and I buy mine at The Fresh Market. Although this might seem expensive for a vinegar, I think that it is worth every penny.
I didn’t use strawberries for the salad pictured, as they were out of season and too expensive. Instead, I used raspberries and oranges, and the salad turned out beautifully. When oranges aren’t in season, I use mandarins; however, freshly peeled and diced oranges can’t be beat when in season.
Note: I much prefer using these Sugar & Spice Sugar Glazed Nuts for this salad, as I love the combo of honey & maple syrup, and they are super easy. You may want to experiment with both to see which is your fave.
I hope your family enjoys this salad as much as mine does. Thanks so very much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!