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I don’t normally post salads as recipes because it seems like, “Whats the big deal?!, it’s a salad…”  But sometimes you get stuck in a salad rut and need someone else’s suggestions for toppings and such.

I also never post a pre-made salad dressing.  I try to keep everything from scratch, but in this case I’m gonna rave for just a second about an amazing bottled salad dressing.  It’s Newman’s Own, Lite Lime.  It is marketed to be low calorie, but honestly I wouldn’t care if it had a million calories cause it’s so fantastic!  My older sister introduced me to it about a year ago, and I have had trouble finding it in grocery stores ever since.  Newman’s Own, is always present with a small selection, but the Lite Lime is a rarity for some reason.  Well, I finally found it the other day, and I have been slathering everything with it, ever since.  It’s a very acidic vinaigrette with fresh, bold lime flavor.  Love it!  So, since it’s bottled dressing, I could’t put the bottle on the table next to this delicious salad… No way.  I injected into a mozzarella balloon, and placed it on top of the salad.  When you puncture the balloon, the dressing drips out all over the salad.  How fun!

Ingredients

romaine

grape tomatoes

dried cranberries

candied walnuts

dressing filled mozzarella balloons

Candied Walnuts (makes enough for 2 salads)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 tbsp sugar

Heat the sugar, over medium high heat, in a skillet.  Don’t stir, just let it melt.  Once it turns clear toss in the walnuts and evenly coat them.  Once their nice and covered, pour them out in an even layer, onto parchment paper, to cool.

Chop the romaine into bite size pieces and divide onto plates.  Top with grape tomatoes and dried cranberries.  When the walnuts are cooled, break them up and sprinkle over the romaine as well.

Dressing filled Mozzarella Balloons

fresh mozzarella

syringe, or flavor injector

Newman’s Own Lite Lime salad dressing

Warm small chunks of mozzarella in the simmering water till they are nice and pliable.  Fill the injector with the salad dressing and push the tip into the ball of mozzarella and inject the dressing slowly to blow a filled bubble.  Once its full, pinch off the end to seal the dressing in.  (You might want to do this over an easy to clean workspace, or sink, incase of dressing explosions.)  Don’t overfill the balloon.  The cheese will start to get a little transparent.  The principle is just like blowing bubbles with chewing gum.  It took me a couple times to get a good seal around the injector tip and fill the balloon evenly.  Once you get the technique down, it’s easy.  But these things are delicate, so handle with care!  Gently top the salads with the balloons and have fun serving this salad!

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