Diana Barry’s Signature Salad

Posted July 3, 2014 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 6 Comments

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Once in a rare while, you come across a book with so much vibrance and life, you read the last few chapters as slowly as possible, just because you don’t want it to end. For me, Anne of Green Gables was one of those books. SO AWESOME. That’s why I chose it for our July Book of the Month!

The book puts a strong emphasis on the power of friendship, and that’s where I drew the inspiration for today’s appetizer. Anne’s best friend (and kindred spirit) is Diana Barry—a classic, traditional girl with admittedly little imagination (but an open mind). Her signature dish is a lettuce salad, which she volunteers to make for one of Anne’s dinner parties. Of course, if it were up to Diana alone, such a dish would be delicious but maybe lacking a little inspiration. However, we know Anne was involved, and there’s no way she could sit idly by and let an opportunity for creative expression pass her up! 

To reflect the perfect balance of Anne and Diana’s friendship, I started with a classic, well-loved concept (caprese salad). Then I infused creativity into every ingredient…and added some surprises! I chose green leaf lettuce for its ruffles, toasted pine nuts for crunch, purple basil for color, roasted tomatoes for warmth, and honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing (from Iowa Girl Eats) to tie it all together!

Diana Barry’s Signature Salad

“Oh, Anne. Mayn’t I help you cook the dinner?” implored Diana. “You know I can make splendid lettuce salad.”
— Anne of Avonlea

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INGREDIENTS:
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Makes 4 small salads

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350°. While you wait, rinse and pat dry the lettuce, tomatoes, and basil.
  2. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes (at the 3 minute mark, take them out and stir them around for a few seconds before returning them to the oven). When they’re lightly browned and just a bit crunchy, take them out and turn the oven up to  375°.
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  3. Cut and arrange the lettuce, mozzarella, and basil in a serving bowl.

    anne-of-green-gables-diana-salad-ap-3243
    I kept everything whole in my pictures so the components would be easier to identify, but I recommend snipping them into bite-size bits when serving.
  4. When the pine nuts have cooled, add them to the bowl. While you wait, place your tomatoes on another backing sheet and lightly coat them with olive oil (we’re going to have olive oil in the dressing, so we don’t want to overdo that particular flavor). Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the skins begin to wrinkle.
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  5. While the tomatoes are busy gettin’ delicious, shake up your dressing! Literally, just add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar, tightly seal it, vigorously shake, and you’re done. Easiest dressing I’ve ever made! And freaking delicious to boot.

  6. When the tomatoes are done, dab away any excess oil with a paper towel and add them to the bowl. Drizzle on your dressing, and you’re done!
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  7. Enjoy with a fellow kindred spirit while reading Anne of Green Gables! 🙂
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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Diana Barry’s Signature Salad

Makes 4 small salads

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 10.5-oz container cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil for roasting the tomatoes
  • 2 oz pine nuts
  • 5-7 purple basil leaves
  • 8 oz ciliegine mozzarella (the little cherry-sized balls)
  • For the dressing, you'll need: 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.

Instructions

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350°. While you wait, rinse and pat dry the lettuce, tomatoes, and basil.
  2. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes (at the 3 minute mark, take them out and stir them around for a few seconds before returning them to the oven). When they're lightly browned and just a bit crunchy, take them out and turn the oven up to 375°.
  3. Cut and arrange the lettuce, mozzarella, and basil in a serving bowl.
  4. When the pine nuts have cooled, add them to the bowl. While you wait, place your tomatoes on another backing sheet and lightly coat them with olive oil (we're going to have olive oil in the dressing, so we don't want to overdo that particular flavor). Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the skins begin to wrinkle.
  5. While the tomatoes are busy getting delicious, shake up your dressing! Literally, just add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar, tightly seal it, vigorously shake, and you're done. Easiest dressing I've ever made! And freaking delicious to boot.
  6. When the tomatoes are done, dab away any excess oil with a paper towel and add them to the bowl. Drizzle on your dressing, and you're done!
  7. Enjoy with a fellow kindred spirit while reading Anne of Green Gables!
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6 responses to “Diana Barry’s Signature Salad

  1. I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables, but this salad looks delicious! I love the toasted pine nuts. It’s such nice twist on a classic recipe 🙂
    I’m looking forward to the rest of Anne of Green Gables’ meals.

  2. Profile photo of Alison's Wonderland Recipes

    I definitely recommend reading it if you get a chance. It’s such a fun read! 🙂

    Thanks! I’ve been looking forward to “cooking this book” for a long time. Sometimes recipes just suggest themselves with hardly any work, and this was one of those menus!

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