This post is dedicated to a BFF and her new beautiful daughter. Catherine, congrats on bringing Jenna into this world. Can't wait to feed her some of her mother's favorite lemon bars, but I will start with your favorite popovers and the great salad from your shower!
I recently co-hosted a shower for one of my pregnant best friends, and of course I planned on creating the menu for the event. We "hosts" decided that a salad would work perfectly for the event (I mean, every ladies shower, wedding or baby, seems to always have a salad) and I would include my homemade popovers as the Mommy-to-Be "LOVES" my popovers (and lemon bars, but that recipe and story will be saved for another post).
But when it came to deciding the salad, we all were a bit, well, stumped. Back in my catering days, I was known for making a salad that became known as "Lesley's Salad" (also, another post to come, and yes, I will finally give up the recipe!). However, I had just made such "salad" for Mommy-to-Be for a shower she had hosted, so that idea was out the window.
So we got to brainstorming about things that we like in salads - I threw out a few "hey, what about this..." and the hosts also chimed in saying "oooh, I love butter lettuce" and "dried cranberries are my favorite". I knew we were onto something good, and if the four of us agreed on the ingredients then for sure the guests would enjoy too!
And, as we expected, the guests LOVED the salad we had created. I mean RAVED. It is a fantastic go-to salad to make for my own guests and friends who continue to praise all of the flavors and textures. One of the hosts had a first birthday party for her daughter recently, and I was beaming when I was asked to help her with the salad for the lunch, and there was OUR salad ingredients from the shower! In that moment, I realized this simple salad was a true winner. Plus, the popovers are such a hit too.
And of course the popover recipe too.
When it is that easy and that good, one must spread the word....
All ingredients are optional, but I would suggest trying this all together!
* butter lettuce (I prefer Fresh Express - Butter Lettuce in the bag/available at most supermarkets)
* dried cranberries
* crumbled goat cheese
* red onion, thinly sliced (like shaved)
* green apple, thinly sliced
* hearts of palm, drained and thinly sliced
* cooked chicken breast, cubed
* candied pecans (if you live in the OC, call Sage Restaurant and buy some - they literally are the best)
* Girard's Champagne Vinagrette (my shortcut)
You can toss all together or toss the lettuce with the dressing and top with the other ingredients
And, as for the popovers, they couldn't be more simple. My Mom found this recipe in the LA Times years ago and it has always been a family staple. And, it doubles and triples really well!
*2 large eggs
*1 C milk (whole or 2% preferrably)
*1 C sifted All Purpose flour
* 1/4 t salt
*1 oz (2 tbsp) butter, melted plus about 3-4 oz butter melted separately for the popover pan\
(can add any additional ingredients, such as parmesan cheese, chives, rosemary, etc)
* Preheat oven to 375F; place popover pan on top of a cookie sheet and place in oven to preheat (cookie sheet is there to catch any spillage while baking)
* In a blender, add all ingredients and blend to smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides so that there are no lumps
* Remove the popover pan and cookie sheet and drizzle 4oz melted butter among the popover cups, filling about 1/4"; fill popover cups with popover batter until just shy of 1/4" full
* Place popover pan with cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes until risen
And there you have it...
A winning salad and fantastic popovers to accompany.
Enjoy and cheers!