Looks delicious, no? Let me tell you … it is all that and a bag of chips. Except … you don’t need chips. I’ve inundated you with gravies and butter and flour based creations long enough. Wanna eat something you’ll love to make, look at and the next day not regret?
I thought so. With that in mind, today I bring you Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Heidi.
I took this show on the road and invaded her amazing farm house while she roasted and candied almonds and we chatted the hours away. Heidi is a friend from church who’s turned into a friend for ever. She has Paula Deen’s cobalt blue eyes, be jealous, and she’s an amazing cook and host (and decorator! Who wants to see their completely gutted farm house … redone??!).
Romaine lettuce, Almonds, EVOO, Sugar, Strawberry’s, Swiss cheese, Poppyseed dressing.
From here Heidi takes it away while I snap 327 photos of the process. Yup, literally took that many. You’ll get to see about 30 of them 🙂
You’ll want to swirl some EVOO into a pan and get it on the stove on medium high heat.
When the oil on the stove is good and hot add your almonds. One of the nice things about this salad (and Heidi) is that you don’t need exact measurements. Like myself, she kind of just goes with it. If you’re not ready for that kind of comfort in the kitchen: Try starting out with 3/4 Cup almonds.
Stir to coat them in the oil.
Once coated pour some sugar on me …. I mean the almonds. (Sing along, as well.)
Start with 1/2 Cup – but be generous. And constantly stir to coat. For the next 3-5 minutes your arm and wrists only job is to move those almonds around in that pan … watching the temp so it’s not too hot and doesn’t burn.
When candying almonds (or any nut) using the EVOO first helps the process along much faster than if you were to just add the sugar and stir to coat … and stir and stir and stir. It takes forever. Heidi is full of helpful shortcuts. (Exhibit A)
You’ll remove from heat and keep stirring once the EVOO starts popping.
See how the sugar and EVOO are making a thick syrup? That’s nice.
Coat! Coat! Stir!
Set out some wax paper and spread the almonds out to cool.
While the almonds are cooling – move on to prepping the rest of the salad.
Slice up an entire head/heart of Romaine Lettuce, plop in bowl.
Add cheese to bowl and then layer your berries, toss, add cheese, berries, toss.
Plate it, add some of your candied almonds and drizzle poppyseed dressing.
Thanks Heidi (action shot!) … she’s so much fun.