Pecan Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast

A simple and scrumptious salad made with pecans, cranberries, and delicious warm goat cheese toast – it’s pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast!!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

Watch out. An obsession with goat cheese toast coming atcha in 3, 2, 1 – – –

Goat cheese toast is my favorite new thing (besides these enchiladas from Pinch of Yum – holy cow these are amazing!) and I need you all to share in the goodness with me. They are the superstars of this salad – cause bread should be the star of every salad, right??

All they’re going to require of you is a quick brush of olive oil, a slather of the goat cheese, and toast them under the broiler for a few minutes. Easy as pie. And you’re going to want to eat these more than pie. Is anyone with me there? More times than not, I could easily choose bread over dessert.

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

I mean, come on with that toasted perfection!!

Additionally, we’re going to toss some toasted pecans (take three minutes to toast them – it makes a difference) and some dried cranberries on top. And mix it all in with a simple vinaigrette.

The dressing is a family favorite – my Aunt Amy’s recipe. And it is good for all sorts of salads and it is a terrific accompaniment to this beautiful thing. It’s a simple as could be with five ingredients that you almost certainly already have in your pantry and fridge!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

But don’t forget about the toast. Oh yes, the toast. I wrote the recipe for four pieces of bread, but you might just want to double that part so you don’t eat them all straight from the pan. Definitely not speaking from personal experience – definitely not.

And if you’re gluten-free – simple substitution! Just make sure your baguette is GF certified!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

This pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast – it’s calling your name!

Pecan Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2 (easily doubled)
Ingredients
  • 9 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the toast
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 slices of baguette
  • Half of a head of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • A handful of toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • A handful of dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing: Mix it all together.
  2. Make the toast: Preheat your broiler. Brush a small amount of olive oil on each baguette slice. Spread an ounce of goat cheese on top. Toast under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until very lightly browned or simply melted.
  3. Make the salad: Toss the lettuce lightly with as much dressing as you prefer (you will have some leftover - yay!) Sprinkle with the pecans and cranberries. Add the goat cheese toast on top and serve immediately.

 

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

If you try this pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!

© MESA COOKING CO. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or content without prior permission.

Fresh Summer Greek Pasta Salad

Fresh Summer Greek Salad // www.mesacookingco.com

It was about a year ago around this time when I really started digging into cooking and baking. I had a lot of time on my hands and I started trying lots of new recipes with new techniques. Instead of sticking with what I knew, I attempted recipes that really scared me! I learned so much from the cookbooks I have and from tons of amazing food bloggers. The wealth of information about cooking online is so helpful!

One of my favorite things about this time was learning how to develop recipes of my own. I didn’t really know it at the time – but by learning how and why we do the things we do while cooking, I was able to start coming up with my own ideas of foods to put together. I loved the beginning stages of learning it because I felt like I gained so much ownership and confidence in my kitchen. I could tweak recipes without fear, because I knew the principles of cooking, I knew my tweaks would probably work. And when I wanted to try to make something completely new, I knew the basics that would help my recipe be successful.

Recipes like this Fresh Summer Greek Pasta Salad were the type of recipes I first began feeling comfortable throwing together. I started with simple ingredients I knew go together well, because I had seen them in so many variations in other dishes. Then, I added a simple olive oil dressing based on what I know about dressing (after making many, many dressings over time). So yes, simple recipe, simple ingredients. But having the confidence to put together ingredients and drizzling a little of this, a little of that, is so fun!

Click to continue reading!

Blackberry Almond Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

A fresh, light spring salad with happy bursts of blackberries!

Blackberry Almond Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing // A fresh, light spring salad with happy bursts of blackberries! // www.mesacookingco.com

I’ve been on a bit of a healthy eating kick the past couple weeks. I always try to eat healthy, but, for me, that usually just means homemade food. This allows me to avoid things like corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and all sorts of other questionable ingredients. However, homemade food can still be full of refined sugars and refined grains. Those things are great for the occasional special treat, but I’m starting to move those treats to occasional and not twice or thrice daily.

So, new healthy, go-to dishes are what I’m looking for lately! I tossed together this salad on Monday for a light, tasty lunch. And — I’m pretty much all about this salad now. It’s fresh, fruity, and fantastic.

Click to continue reading and for the recipe!

Mexiterranean Salad

The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! 

Mexiterranean Salad // The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! // www.mesacookingco.com

No, there’s no typo. This is Mexiterranean! The marriage of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines in one wholesome salad packed with fresh flavor. This salad is refreshing and zesty! It’s probably the perfect thing to enjoy after a week of ice cream recipes!

It’s been just one month since I’ve started writing here and sharing my favorite recipes. It’s been an eventful month! With this exciting milestone (at least, it’s exciting for me!!), I think this is the perfect time to write about the name.

Mexiterranean Salad // The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! // www.mesacookingco.com

Mesa Cooking Co. earned its name after several horrible weeks of brainstorming. I am not exaggerating; I agonized over the name of this blog. I would wake up in the middle of the night with possible names running through my head and spent way too much time with thesauruses – I can’t imagine how I am going to someday name a child!! Finally, when I was so frustrated I was ready to call it “Food Blog”, I thought about the word mesa.

Mesa, for me, is the perfect word for two main reasons. First, mesa means table in Spanish. I think sharing food around a table can be such a special and intimate experience. The word mesa, to me, represents those experiences. Enjoying a delicious meal with others cultivates friendship and community. I can see someone at church every Sunday for months, but once we share a meal, the friendship reaches an entirely new level. Making food for others and gathering around a table to feast is a wonderful act of love. I hope my blog can in some small way make those experiences more delicious and more frequent! Perhaps a recipe will inspire you to reach out to a new friend or host a dinner party with neighbors.

Mexiterranean Salad // The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! // www.mesacookingco.com

The word mesa is also a nod to one of the most dear times of my life. I spent eight months in a Spanish-speaking country, Costa Rica, right after graduating from high school. This time was a hugely formative food experience. The meals I enjoyed and a sweet cook I befriended influenced me in the most meaningful ways. I learned recipes with instructions only given in Spanish and used ingredients I had never tried before. Those memories are precious to me and I’m happy to have that time represented by the name of this blog.

Mexiterranean Salad // The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! // www.mesacookingco.com

And now, onto a salad that features some of my favorite ingredients — like feta, quinoa, and cilantro! It’s a snap to throw together! You will have dinner on the table in 15 minutes!

Mexiterranean Salad

Time: 15 minutes
Yields: Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main dish

Ingredients:
5 ounces spring mix lettuce
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 of a red onion, sliced
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup cilantro
4 ounces feta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin

  1. Prepare the dressing. Mix together olive oil, lime juice, honey, and cumin. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the spring mix and place in a large bowl. Top with tomatoes, red onion, black beans, quinoa, cilantro, and feta.
  3. Drizzle the dressing on top and dig in!

Notes: Feel free to use canned black beans. You will use about a quarter of a 15-ounce can for the salad and will have about 1.5 cups of leftover beans!
Make dairy-free: Omit feta.

 

If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work.

Mexiterranean Salad // The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes! // www.mesacookingco.com

© MESA COOKING CO. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or content without prior permission.