Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Early Autumn Salad from Me and Fresh Express

I've been approached by a number of companies to use and blog about their products.  Up until now, I've politely refused their kind offers.  I was contacted by Fresh Express a few weeks ago about trying out their new artisanal salad blends.  We've used Fresh Express salad blends for years so I had no problem saying that I'd give them a try.


I went to their website:  Fresh Express to check out the new blends and was impressed with what I saw and read.  Fresh Express has been working on the artisanal blends for a number of years and recently felt they were ready to share with salad lovers across the country.  There are two artisanal blends:  Sierra Crisp Herb and Wild Rocket Zest.  Both of which arrived at my front door this morning.  I was very pleased to see that the packaging uses 50% less plastic than their previous packaging.  I'm into green--whether in my diet or in being a good steward of the earth.  So far, kudos for the packaging!



Then came the true test.  These lovely greens had traveled from the Salinas Valley to the midwest.  I tore into the box immediately thinking I'd better get them into the friendly environment of my refrigerator crisper.  I examined each bag and found that they looked fresh and delicious.  I felt compelled to compose a salad straightaway.

(Click on the photo for an even better look at deliciousness.)

Sierra Crisp Herb Blend and Harvest Fruit Salad

Candied Walnuts:

1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sugar

Place walnuts and sugar into a saute pan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar melts and turns golden.  This only takes a few minutes after the sugar melts.  Spread on a plate to cool.

Poached Pear and Apple slices:

1 pear (I used Bosc)
1 apple (I used Honeycrisp)
1 cup of pear nectar (or water)

Bring nectar or water to a simmer
Core and slice fruit but leave peel on
Add fruit to liquid and simmer for one minute.  Cool in liquid.  Drain and refrigerate if not using immediately.

OR ELIMINATE THIS STEP ENTIRELY AND USE THE FRUIT FRESH.  

Dressing:

1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup white balsamic or pear vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together.

Place the Sierra Crisp Herb mix on a plate, top with the fruit and candied walnuts and drizzle with the dressing.

ENJOY!

I wish that I could have better captured the beauty of these greens.  Alas, I had eaten most of the salad before I realized I should have taken a few more shots.  But, I'm not a food stylist--just a connoisseur.  

The Sierra Crisp Herb mix is delicious.  I munched away, right out of the bag, as I was preparing the salad.  I don't think it could have tasted any fresher or been any crisper if I'd picked it up at the farm in Salinas.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was not compensated for posting about Fresh Express.  I did receive the blends to try.  There's a generous coupon for the artisan blends on Fresh Express.  I hope you'll try them and share some recipes.  We enjoy salads year round and always welcome new ways to bring them to the table.






27 comments:

  1. That was so interesting. Like you I have been approached in the past with someone wanting me to promote their products on my blog. I have always shied away from this, but what you did sounds relly. If I find Fresh Expres in my area; I will surely give it a try.

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  2. Wow! Wonder how they knew to contact you? These look really good, I'm looking for them this week when I go to the store. Sometimes our area gets new items a bit later than big cities.

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  3. Your salad is gorgeous!!! The greens do look insanely fresh!

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  4. What a nice review of a great product. I was at the grocery store this morning though and did not see these. I guess it will take a little longer to get here.
    Thanks for the tip and the recipe.
    Karen
    Ladybug Creek

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  5. I would say you styled that salad quite well. It looks beautiful. Well done!

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  6. Beautiful salad. Photo taken with the new camera? Can't wait to try the rocket blend.

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  7. The salad looks yummy. I usually buy fresh express, but I haven't see the new stuff yet. Can't wait to try it. Carla

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  8. Thanks for this review. The salad looks delicious. Like you, we eat salad year-round. It's always nice to find a new way to shake it up a bit.

    Thanks also for the link to the coupon. I dont' normally buy bagged salads because they are so expensive. It's cheaper for me to buy a head of romaine and a head of red leaf lettuce, but with this coupon, it's a little more affordable...and I readily admit it makes eating a salad alot more convenient.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Patti

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  9. Hi Bonnie, I am a frequent user of Fresh Express salad blends (in fact one is my fridge right now) so appreciate this post. I don't usually gussy up my salad but admit that yours looks awfully yummy! I definitely want to try the wild rocket!

    ~Bonnie

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  10. bagged greens have come a long way, I used to cringe at that aftertaste they used to have....now you can get some very nice blends of greens you might not normally get to eat!
    thanks for a wonderful salad!

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  11. Looks delicious --especially since you used our favorite pear (bosc) and our favorite apple (honey crisp)... YUM!!! Makes me hungry.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. The candied nuts and poached pears sound so delicious with the artisanal salad blend. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, www.sweetandcrumby. I am a new baking blogger and was so excited when I had new visitors today! :)

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  13. I'm always reticent to accept review offers from companies but this is a product I could totally get behind! I love the mix you've thrown into this salad. Autumn food is such a favorite of mine.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this with me. I am going to have to try these salad blends (because I trust your judgment...and I appreciate that you don't just jump on every offer that you receive). I hope you have a wonderful weekend...as always, I will be looking forward to your posts!

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  15. This salad looks great- I love candied walnuts with mixed greens and balsamic dressing.

    Those greens look super fresh too. I hate when you get a bag of greens, ope it up only to find that bits of the cut lettuce are browning or wilting- such a disappointment.

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  16. if it tastes half as good as it looks in your photo, it is delish

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  17. No I still wear jeans and jean skirts--I think I was thinking back to a simpler time--and that being up north. People dress up more here in the south. I still remember the "culture shock" that was when we moved south. I must remember this is a northern wedding. :-) Maybe I should clarify what I said ... one of the beauties of blogging ... one can constantly be improving what they wrote.

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  18. Gorgeous looking salad... they do a nice job with their product and for folks not near a good market, they provide an invaluable service.. good for them!

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  19. Tell you what Bonnie, I'll come over and play and you can cook! Sound good? :)
    That's one gorgeous salad! Ii didn't know about this brand but will look for it.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  20. Your salad looks delicious! Perfect for a late summer day!
    Did you know that blogger has a new spam guard so you don't need to use the id word? Check your dashboard.

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  21. Thanks for visiting! You have such a lovely blog, I've signed up to follow you. I live on bagged lettuce in the winter, they do hold up extremely well considering they live in the bag so many days after being picked. I love the idea of apples on it, I'm just not ready to face apples yet, they are another fruit I rely heavily on in the winter. I'm still holding on to the very last summer peaches and nectarines before the big chill!

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  22. Your salad looks delicious. Wow, you have some great recipes. I plan to try some right away. Sue@sprucelakecottage.

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  23. I haven't seen the new blends in my stores yet but I usually don't buy bagged lettuces but these look exceptional and worth a try!

    What an artistic, artisinal, autumnal salad :)

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  24. I have no problem using the premade salads from our local grocery stores. They always have such interesting combinations.

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  25. I love salads! That's very cool that you were offered these products to review. (I did click to get a larger view of the photo and yummy! looks wonderful)

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I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.