Butter Leaf with Dried Cranberries, Peanuts, and Deschutes’ Dressing

There are only two reasons I order a salad at a restaurant — either I’m not that hungry or I’m on a healthy eating spree. When I do order a salad, I rarely expect it to be memorable.

Then I tried this salad…

Deschutessalad1

My honey & I spent a week in Portland last May, and during our trip we went to the Deschutes’ Brewery Pub for a fun and relaxing dinner in their rustic atmosphere.

I had eaten a rather excessive amount of scrumptious biscuits & gravy for brunch that morning, which left me feeling ridiculously stuffed and about 17 pounds heavier.

Lets just say when dinner came around, I felt the need to counter-balance with a much lighter meal. So I ordered the Butter Leaf salad based on reasons 1 & 2 above, expecting only to check “healthy deed for the day” off my list. I soon found myself raving about how fantastic the salad was!

What made this salad so rave-worthy?

Deschutessalad3

Really, it was the combination of unique ingredients that made the magic.

Fresh green butter-leaf lettuce, sweet dried cherries, salty & sweet crushed “Beer Nuts” (peanuts), crumbles of creamy goat cheese, and flaky rosemary crackers. Topped with a light dressing that tied it all together perfectly.

After months of telling my husband “Mmmm… I wish I could have that salad again. I keep thinking about it!” I finally decided to create my own version. Knowing it could never taste exactly the same, I was really pleased with how it turned out. My secret weapon, however, was the fact that their dressing recipe was actually readily available on their website.

So that saved me a trip back to Portland just for a salad. #kidding #notkidding

Deschutessalad4

A couple of notes before we get started… goat cheese was part of the original salad but it is not pictured here because hubs does not like it so I left it off. (The things we do for love, right?) Also, the original Deschutes’ dressing recipe makes 5 cups of dressing. (Whoa! That’s a lotta dressing.) My adaptation below is half the original and still makes quite a bit so feel free to cut it down further. I got pretty thorough in creating this salad but I’ve included some quicker alternatives which are noted below.

Butter Leaf with Dried Cranberries, Peanuts, and Deschutes’ Dressing; Recipe or Not (inspired by Deschutes’ Butter Leaf Salad)

The Salad:

Green or red butter leaf lettuce

Dried cranberries

“Beer Nuts” (I used this recipe but cut the sugar & salt in half; quick alternate – honey roasted peanuts)

Croutons (cut small pieces of day old bread and sauté with olive oil until crisp; quick alternate – store-bought croutons)

goat cheese, optional

The Dressing:

Original Deschutes’ Dressing

My adaptation:

1 1/2 c. pale ale

3/4 c. white balsamic vinegar

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

1-2 T. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 bunch of basil, chopped

Pinch of salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and chill until ready to use!

Notes: I know, beer in salad dressing? Crazy, huh? But it’s super delicious. If you’re not a beer drinker and are wondering what to do with any remaining beer, make these New England Fried Shrimp! They are delish!

Advertisements

One thought on “Butter Leaf with Dried Cranberries, Peanuts, and Deschutes’ Dressing

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s