Grilled Apricot Salad with Candied Pecans, Mushrooms, and Infused Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
**As seen in MARY Magazine**
Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means you might be searching for the perfect side dish to serve alongside turkey. While mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce make excellent accompaniments, offering a healthy salad infused with THC might enhance the occasion!
Combining both sweet and savory flavors, this Grilled Apricot Salad with Candied Pecans, Mushrooms, and Infused Champagne Pear Vinaigrette has become one of my go-to recipes for family feasts. If you cannot find apricots this time of year, simply swap for seasonal pears.
No dining occasion is complete without a cannabis and wine pairing. To pair with this recipe, look for Water Dog Herb Farm’s signature strain, The Phoenix, paired with Toulouse Vineyard’s Estate Gewürztraminer. The earthiness from the mushrooms matches the cannabis’ myrcene notes, while the grilled apricot and salad dressing exhibit floral and citrus notes that blend harmoniously with the wine’s profile.
If you don’t have time to create your own THC-infused olive oil that’s called for in this recipe, simply add 1 tablespoon of Pot d’Huile. Enjoy!
Grilled Apricot Salad with Candied Pecans, Mushrooms, and
Infused Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
By: Jamie Evans, The Herb Somm
**This recipe assumes 5 milligrams per teaspoon of THC-infused olive oil or 3.75 milligrams of THC per serving**
Small mixing bowl
Blender or food processor
Grill pan or grill
1 cup pecan (left whole)
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon water
⅛ teaspoon salt
Infused Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon infused cannabis olive oil (or Pot d’Huile)
¾ cup Champagne
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Apricot and Mushroom Salad
2 fresh whole apricots (swap for pears if not in season)
8 ounces fresh Mendocino chanterelle mushrooms
4 cups arugula
2 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese (to sprinkle on top)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Beginning with the candied pecans, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Next, mix in the water until all of the ingredients are blended well. Set the sugar coating aside.
Using a small pan, cook the pecans over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Reduce the heat, and add in the sugar coating mixture. Stir until the pecans are completely coated. Transfer the mixture onto a piece of foil, and let cool completely to room temperature. Make sure the coating has hardened before eating. Set aside.
Next, move on to your vinaigrette dressing. Boil the Champagne with the pear in a small saucepan for 8 - 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat and cool. Using a blender or food processor, puree the cooked pear with the cannabis-infused THC olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, and sea salt until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Next, move onto the apricots (or pears if apricots are not in season) Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium heat. Rinse the apricots and slice into sixths. Put the apricot slices on a skewer and brush lightly with olive oil. Place the apricots on the grill or grill pan and cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side. Grill just enough to caramelize them, but not cook them all the way through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now it’s time to prepare the mushrooms. Rinse the mushrooms under cold water to remove any dirt. Use your fingers to rub off the grit. Pat the mushrooms dry using a clean paper towel and slice into halves or quarters lengthwise measuring about a 1-inch. Heat the extra virgin olive oil and butter to medium-high in a large saute pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they soften and turn golden brown. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Finally, it’s time to build your salad. Toss the arugula in extra virgin olive oil and divide the arugula between 4 serving plates. Top with the sautéed chanterelles, candied pecans, grilled apricot slices, and crumbled gorgonzola. Using a tablespoon, add the dressing on top of each plate for precise dosing. Serve with a dash of freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.
About the Author:
Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm. She is an educator, host, and writer specializing in cannabis, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. In addition to her work in the cannabis industry, Jamie has over a decade of wine industry experience and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Having represented a wide array of organizations and wineries, she is best known for her literary work and producing high-end events. She was also named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheHerbSomm