RECIPE. Aug 8, 2011

Raspberry Pecan Salad Manners

Everyone has something in their life that brings out their competitive, dark side. The side that cuts in line, shoves someone over for a Power Ranger action figure or leaps over a crowd to grab the last of whatever coveted item is being sold. My dark side emerges at potlucks. When it is announced that the food is open for consumption most people leisurely wander over and mingle as they take small portions, leaving enough for everyone else. While they socialize and consume their food, they are not obsessing about what the dishes they were not able to fit on their plate. They do not sit and try to balance two plates of food on their lap because they had to make sure they got both dessert and main dishes before they disappeared. I, however, do both of those. I love potlucks because I love food.

If buffets weren’t filled with such terrible food, I would eat at one every time we go out. I adore restaurants that have any sort of “can’t decide” dish with a little bit of everything. At my favorite ice cream place they even have an “Indecision scoop” so you can get two small scoops of different flavors. While I usually detest choices in every other area of my life, I love having a large variety of food I can consume in one sitting. I have no potluck manners.

If there is one cupcake and a small child and I are reaching for it, I would snatch it and not even consider sharing. I am a terrible person. If potlucks were events held at 6am I would be that person to show up at 11am the night before and camp out just to be first in line. Am I making myself clear? I really, really love to eat.

I also love the opportunity to see what someone else has done with ingredients I have used for other dishes in the past. I am smitten when exotic food combinations appear and cross my lips. Creating food is such an art and a potluck is like going to a show. I glean from others creative ideas and it inspires me for the next few weeks.

While I would quickly stick a fork in someones hand who tried to take food off my plate, I do love the social and spiritual purpose of a potluck. Sharing food with one another from your own kitchen and land. Filling one anothers belly’s and souls. Just don’t cut me in line or I might cut you.

These photos are from the community garden potluck I attended two weekends ago. I will post more pictures from another potluck we held at our house this last weekend. I am not just being a food tease. I am asking for recipes so I can post them here for all of you. Until then, enjoy the simple raspberry nut salad and salivate.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place pecans in pie tin and coat with butter/coconut oil and pumpkin pie spice. Roast in oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool. Chop.

Toss greens, raspberries, edible flowers and toasted pecans in bowl.

Mix together dressing ingredients in container. I wish I had exact amounts of each but I don’t. You use more oil and vinegar than any other ingredient. About 1/4 cup olive oil and balsamic and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar. Then about 1 Tbsp mustard and sugar. Add about 1 tsp salt and pepper and shake. I would just serve dressing on side as the berries can get very runny with the dressing if kept together too long.