Discovering My Grandmother Jane: Trying Her Salad With Cashew Nuts

This is the fifth installment in my series in which I cook all eleven recipes I found my grandmothers had submitted to their old church cookbooks. Previous recipes include Ham & Sour Cream Casserole, Old Fashioned Cauliflower SlawApricot Jello Salad, and Ship Wreck casserole (the one my mom hated). 

Salad greens say what?

After two weeks of weird, creamy, retro recipes, Jake begged me to take a break from preparing my grandmothers’ dishes so we could eat healthier food. I granted him mercy, well, mostly, by preparing this recipe for Grandmother Jane’s “salad with cashew nuts.”

Fresh salad greens, homemade dressing and cashew nuts. How bad could this be?

cashew salad collage.jpg

This salad dressing provided us with a break from mayo but called for a 1/3 cup of sugar. I had another just can’t moment and reduced it to 1/4 cup. I also added an extra squirt of mustard, and used half olive and half vegetable oil since I was running low on olive.

The salad dressing tasted completely palatable, but far too sweet even with the 1/4 cup of sugar. However, those who like dressings like poppy seed, french and raspberry vinaigrettes might not mind. The dressing is not something I’d make again, but I won’t have a problem eating it as long as I dress salad greens very lightly. It might also work as a component of a pasta salad if I add more vinegar of lemon juice.

Salad Dressing Clipped

And since I’m talking salads, I can’t help but go on a little rant about those salad dressing recipes that instruct you to dump everything into a jar and shake. If you slowly stream the oil into the vinegar/seasoning component of a dressing as you quickly whisk, you’ll never need to shake (unless you want to). Seriously. This dressing has remained like this for days all because I took a few minutes to emulsify.

I know this to be true, for I just made a shake-in-a-jar-dressing. It just seemed so easy, but in reality, was a separating, dripping mess that just wasn’t so cute when I actually served it to guests.

The next step of this retro cooking journey will lead us to fruit cake and rice pilaf. Next week, maybe next week, we’ll be ready to face those mayo-filled crab creations.

2 Comments

  1. Great tip about the shake em up salad dressings—-I guess a little time just makes it a lot better, huh? This salad does not look too terrible but the sugar content was pretty high, wasn’t it??? Good call to reduce it. Tell the hubby to be strong—–he can take one for the sake of your blog post, can’ t he??? 🙂

    • I found those very frustrating. They are gimmicky but not practical. Jake will be a trooper-a week or two of those casseroles was a little much. We’ll both need strength to face that crab casserole stretch.

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