While in Banff on the weekend, we had an amazing meal at The Bison. We started with a salad that inspired me to create something similar at home. I feel like I should preempt this by saying I'm a bit weird about blue cheese. I feel like I can't really say I like it, but I also don't really hate it. That said, I used to absolutely despise it. The very thought of it gave me the shivers. Then I got a job at a cheese store (also referred to as heaven) and in order to sell the moldy, stinky morsels, I had to taste every variety. At first it was complete torture, but eventually I found one that I liked and then I found another and then...no, it was only those two.
So if you like blue cheese, use whichever one you'd like. If you're only lukewarm about it, I suggest using Bleu Benedictin from Quebec. It has a little bit of sweetness to it which goes well with the dates and candied pumpkin seeds. If you scrolled past this whole diatribe at the mere mention of the stuff...
...you could always sub in goat cheese or a nice sharp cheddar.
4 cups salad greens
5 dates pitted and chopped
blue cheese- as much as you'd like
bacon- cooked and chopped (optional)
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. brown sugar
a pinch of cayenne
1 cup pumpkin seeds
Pre-heat oven to 300. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add the brown sugar, cayenne and salt. Stir in pumpkin seeds until they're well coated. Spread the seed mixture onto a foil covered cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the seeds to cool completely before breaking them apart.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk until emulsified.
Toss greens in the vinaigrette. In this case I used spinach and arugula, but any greens would do. Add the chopped dates, cheese, bacon (if you're using it and why wouldn't you be?) and pumpkin seeds.