Bitter Greens with Cherry Beer Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese Toasts
- 1/2 cup cherry-flavored beer, such as Boon Kriek
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts removed, bread cut in half to make triangles
- 1/4 pound Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
- 6 cups mixed bitter greens, such as radicchio, escarole and arugula
- 2 Belgian endives, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine the beer with the shallots, dried cherries and honey and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beer has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the beer reduction, then gradually whisk in the canola oil. Season the cherry beer vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Lightly butter the bread triangles on both sides and toast in the oven until golden. Depending on the consistency of the cheese, crumble or spread it on the toasts.
- Add the greens and endives to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on plates, garnish each with a cheese toast and serve.
I always like to cook nice food for myself, when I have the time. No more Bachelor Chow for me! Making a batch of salad dressing is a good idea, because it stays good for a long time. Lots of bang for the buck. I really liked how the cherry beer vinaigrette came out. For the beer, I bought a cherry lambic. It tastes just like cranberry juice, actually. Cranberry juice with a kick.