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Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad

May 31, 2010

We spent our Memorial Day with friends.  We were invited to another couple’s house for an afternoon BBQ. Like I mentioned yesterday, I was supposed to bring a side dish and a salad. The side dish was Dan’s pick. He’s a huge baked bean fan – his whole family likes them. He normally makes Bush’s Original and adds some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and brown sugar.

He’s been taste testing the new Bush’s Grillin’ Beans product line over the past few weeks. So far he has tried the Steakhouse Tradition and the Southern Pit Barbeque flavors. He didn’t like the Steakhouse Tradition (too sweet) but really liked the Southern Pit Barbeque. We still have Bourbon and Brown Sugar and Black Bean Fiesta to try. Since we knew Southern Pit Barbeque was good, I picked two cans up and we were good to go with the side dish. Nothing fancy… but super tasty. (Turns out… our friends knew how much Dan liked baked beans, they unexpectedly made them) – needless to say, we have a shelf of beans in the pantry for a later date.

I hunted online for a salad recipe. I knew they were making Chili Rubbed BBQ Chicken and I thought something with fruit in it would go great. I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com and I doctored it a bit.

Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Cashews – Whole and Halves
4 Slices Bacon – Coarsely Chopped
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
10 Ounces of mixed salad greens
1/4 head of iceberg lettuce – added for crunch
1 Medium Pear – I used a D’Anjou pear
1 Cup Seedless Red Grapes

The Cashews:

In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast cashews until golden brown – it took about 3-4 minutes. Remove the cashews and set into a bowl for cooling.

In a medium bowl, stir together your melted butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and the toasted cashews. I tasted one and it definitely had a kick – next time I might use a little less cayenne, but I’m a lightweight when it comes to spices.

The next step is to cook the bacon strips until crisp. Set on paper towels when done to soak up the grease. Coarsely chop the bacon and then set aside.

The Dressing:

In a small bowl, stir together white wine vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. I used a pinch of salt and probably 10-15 cranks of the pepper grinder.

The Salad:

In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with greens, pear slices, grapes (I cut them in half) and bacon –  then add the cashew mixture and toss again.

I had to take the final photo at our friend’s house. I carried the plate to every flat surface in their backyard – hah! I ended up on their pavers with a 95-100 lb. Great Dane very interested in what I was doing – super cute and eager to please his Mommy in the backyard.

He also had the lingering smells of the BBQ chicken to keep him busy…

The Menu:
Chili rubbed BBQ chicken, Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad, blue cheese potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob and pugliese bread. Everything was fabulous! The salad was a hit. I will with 100% certainty be making it again. It definitely has a kick, if you aren’t into that, you could easily leave out the cayenne.

We were very thankful to be surrounded by great friends and amazing food, while remembering the soldiers that have given their lives to let the rest of us live in freedom. I feel very blessed and grateful.

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2 comments

  1. I’m not a huge pear and grape in the salad fan, but it does sound interesting. Those cashews look amazing!


  2. Omg my mouth is watering. And I LOVE cashews. That looks amazing.



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