I am lucky enough to live in the Willamette Valley. The Willamette Valley stretches from Portland in the North to Eugene in the South. The fertile valley is also the home to Oregon’s state nut. The hazelnut. Did you know there was a state nut? Does your state have one? Well, Oregon has the hazelnut. Today’s salad gets it’s name – Willamette Valley Salad because it uses delicious hazelnuts. The hazelnut is the star of this salad so don’t leave it out!
I love hazelnuts and if you haven’t tried them I highly recommend them. Of course, you could substitute another nut in this salad but then it wouldn’t be Willamette Valley Salad. In addition to hazelnuts the salad contains avocados and blue cheese.
I found hazlenuts in the bulk section of my local Winco grocery store. I like them toasted in the salad so I popped them into my oven for about 5-10 minutes until they turned golden brown.
Totally love this salad. I used romaine lettuce but it would be great with spinach too. I love the fresh taste of it and the different textures in the salad.
Other favorite salads include:
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce, turn into pieces
- 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
- ⅓ lb. blue cheese
- 1 C hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- ⅓ C red wine vinegar
- ⅔ C olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine dressing ingredients together.
- Put greens in a bowl.
- Toss lightly with dressing.
- Add avocados, blue cheese and hazelnuts on top
- To toast the nuts put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Heat oven to 350 and toast for 5-10 minutes
- Shake pan occasionally.
- Allow to cool and chop.
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