Apr 28, 2013

Gingham Salad

Gingham Salad. It's worthy of an intro.

As a teeny bopper I "life guarded" at one of the local country clubs. Let's be honest, it's a country club, and the few senior members that did make it down to the docks didn't have the energy to swim once they made it there.  And I don't blame them.

Subsequently, I was paid to be the bronzing beauty that guarded... the "dock" and my lunch plate.  Free gourmet country club food?  Worth every hour, hello.

The Gingham Salad was the pinnacle of my summer bliss.  It's a perfect symphony of fresh berries, mandarin oranges, feta, candied pecans, grilled chicken, and a dressing that is heaven in its self. You will not have lived until you taste THE Gingham Salad. Oooooh the dressing... don't get me started. So simple. So fresh. So perfect.

Adapted from the Hayden Lake Country Club's Gingham Salad.

Tell me what you think!

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Gingham Salad
Bliss From Scratch | Printable Version

  • Candied pecans (recipe follows or can use store-bought)
  • Gingham dressing (recipe follows)
  • Canned mandrin oranges
  • Fresh blue berries
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Black berries*
  • Raspberries*
  • Grilled chicken*
  • Feta or blue cheese
  • Salad greens of choice
  • *optional, but highly recommended

Assemble greens, berries, fruit, and chicken. Top with cheese, nuts, and dressing--skimping on these ingredients is like trying to do jumping jacks without legs.  Let your mouth and mind be blown away.  This is my all-time favorite meal, ever.

Gingham Dressing
No substitutions will work.  Believe me, I've tried.  Dressing will last in the fridge for weeks, but using fresh onion with reduce the shelf life.  You'll make it again soon after, I'm confident of that. wink-wink.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder OR 1 tablespoon small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup salad oil (canola or olive oil)
In a blender, mix all of the ingredients for 1-2 minutes.

Candied Pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

In a small skillet, melt butter and sugar over med-low heat.  Add pecans and spices, stir until pecans are fragrant and well coated (they should appear sticky with the melted sugar coating them).  Remove from heat and spoon the mixture onto parchment paper, break apart as desired if the nuts are clumping together.  Cool completely before serving.


  1. ooooooohhhh let me help you to finish it! I don't recall an invite to your place to join in the eating of such a beautiful salad tanker tott!

  2. This salad is heaven on earth! I can't get enough of it!


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