November 1, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Dressing in Southern Living Magazine Leads Me to Salad Breakthrough

vidaliahoneyvinaigrette_november2010.jpgWhen a recipe for Vidalia-Honey Vinaigrette in Southern Living magazine‘s October 2010 issue caught my eye, I scarcely realized what a personal food breakthrough I would experience as a result. But it wasn’t the dressing that revolutionized my diet; it was what it went on.

For her celebration of Southern cooking, Alabama blogger Christy Jordan was featured in the October Southern Living on the eve of the publication of her first cookbook, “Southern Plate.” And to offer something for her fans as well as readers unfamiliar with her work, Southern Living gives a peek inside a typical Sunday dinner, recipes and all, in its article titled “Christy’s Recipes for Success.”

Among those recipes was the Vidalia-Honey Vinaigrette and Jordan’s suggestion to serve over mixed greens, chopped apples, toasted pecans and dried cranberries. All of them perfectly fine in their own right, I often say, then immediately question, “But together?” Usually I’d bristle at the thought of fruit on a salad that didn’t consist of only fruit.

Maybe I’m feeling a bit more adventurous these days, so I went for it. Trust me when I say this may be a small step for most, but one giant, monumental leap for me. Even while making the dressing to chill overnight, I wondered if I could go through with the suggested salad ingredients.

Am I ever glad that I did. My fears that I would taste fruit and lettuce in some weird combination never materialized. The sweetness and crunchiness of the fruit and nuts was a pleasant complement to the lettuce and the chicken (which I added). And the vinaigrette, which I thought could have been too onion-y, was neutralized but still had a little spicy kick, thanks to black pepper, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard.

It was such a surprisingly delicious lunch that I’ve been debating whether to have it again for dinner, making it twice in one day! Now if that’s not a stamp of approval (and from a self-admitted picky eater at that), I don’t know what is.

About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.