The salad course was the most difficult part to put together for my German cuisine evening. Evidently Germans are either not big salad eaters. The only German style salad I could find in my collections of cookbooks and online resources was hot German potato salad. This will not work as a starter. Instead I chose a lighter mixed greens salad that offered cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese; three ingredients that work well together.

Cranberries are not a native German fruit. The berries are thoroughly American, but the tart berries would be a part of German ancestor’s table as they emigrated to Wisconsin. The sweetness of the candied pecans and the tartness of the berries work together as a great starter to my German styled meal. This is a great, easy to make salad that will please anyone.

Recipe after the break

Mixed Greens with Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cranberries

From: Bon Appétit October 2003

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup olive oil
2 5-ounce bags mixed baby greens
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 7 ounces)
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups glazed or honey-roasted pecans or walnuts (about 8 ounces)
1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and thyme in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Mix greens, cranberries, and onion in large bowl. Mix in enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with nuts and cheese.

Makes 10 servings