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.



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.


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.