Recipe: Ham, Gorgonzola, and Pecan Salad

Ham, Gorgonzola, and Pecan Salad

1/2 cauliflower head -- a big one
1 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces ham, in 1/2" cubes
5 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese -- or other mild blue cheese -- you can buy five-ounce tubs already crumbled.
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350.

Trim the leaves and the very bottom of the stem off your cauliflower, then whack the rest into 1/2" chunks. Throw them in a microwaveable steamer or casserole with a lid, add a few tablespoons water, cover, and nuke on high for ten minutes, or until tender but not mushy.

Now spread the pecans in a shallow baking pan, and slide them into the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes.

While that's happening, add the garlic, rosemary and pepper to the olive oil, and let them sit, so the flavors can permeate the oil.

Okay, all that's under control. Now cube up your ham, and throw it in a big mixing bowl.

Your microwave beeped! Remove the cauliflower, uncover it, and drain off the water. Let it cool for several minutes before you proceed, you don't want it to melt your cheese. Stirring it every so often helps it cool faster.

Somewhere in here, the stove timer will beep. Pull out the pecans and let those cool a bit, too.

When your cauliflower and pecans are no longer seriously hot, dump the cauliflower in with the ham cubes. Coarsely chop the pecans, and dump them in. Dump in your tub of gorgonzola, too.

Add the parsley, and pour on your seasoned olive oil. Stir the whole thing up really well, till everything is evenly distributed. It's better if you let it sit a while before serving, so the flavors can blend a bit, but it's hard to resist eating it right out of the mixing bowl.

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5-6 servings. Assuming 5, each will have: 472 Calories; 42g Fat; 17g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 6 g usable carb

NOTES: If all you can find is teeny heads of cauliflower, use 3/4 head.

Your carb count will depend some on what ham you buy. Read the labels! (Though I confess I bought my ham for price, at the post-Easter sales.)

I found this salty enough with the ham and the gorgonzola, but feel free to add salt if yours needs it.

Don't feel locked into using gorgonzola, I just really like it. Any fairly mild, creamy blue cheese will do.

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Awesome!

This is a stunningly awesome salad, and I don't usually go for this kind of dish.