Epplins Adventures

As I trudged through up the hill in the May snow, Ithaca NY looked like a setting for the Ice Princess. Trees dripping in icicles, going up the hill in shorts and running down the hill to grab mittens.

Voracious for warm weather, vixenish jonquils would plug their yellow heads out of the ground, defying winter's last breath. Those jaunty daffodils turned my attention to Ithaca's then young Moosewood Restaurant and all their kooky vegetarian dishes and delicious salad dressings, serving sprout laden salads for breakfast and sultry soups and signature warm bread for lunch.

I still yearn for breakfast salads, and since I love bacon and seasonal fruits, weekend brunches usually feature at least one. Whether it's cold pasta tossed with squash, jicama and raspberry vinaigrette or this Grapilicious Spring Salad served with warm croissants and butter.




Grapalicious Salad

Ingredients

12 slices bacon
2 heads fresh broccoli, florets only
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds or pecans, toasted
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I like Duke's!)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/8 cup natural canesugar

  • Directions
  • 1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
    2. Toast almonds or pecans in a bit of bacon grease to maximize flavor.
    3. In a large salad bowl, toss together the bacon, broccoli, celery, green onions, green grapes, red grapes, raisins and almonds.
    4. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.