Michigan Salad

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

Dinner | April 11, 2017 | By

If you’ve ever travelled to northern Michigan, especially Traverse City you may have tasted a Michigan Salad (sometimes called the Michigan Cherry Salad). It’s A bed of greens, a bold cheese (usually blue), some dried cherries, apples, nuts and a vinaigrette dressing. For $12-15 it can be yours in most restaurants there. For another $5 they’ll throw on some grilled chicken. Plus tax and tip. It’s really easy to make at home for a lot less so much I have a hard time shelling out that much for it. Today I’m sharing my version along with a really simple raspberry vinaigrette dressing that may not change your life, but will make you very happy when you eat it. You don’t have to be from Michigan to enjoy this gem from ‘the mitten’. 

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

Northern Michigan, especially Traverse City is undeniably beautiful.

Chef Mario Batali visited once. . .and then again  . . .and found he loved it so much he decided to buy a home there.  

If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. Climb the sand dunes, tour the wineries, sample some delicious locally made wine and amazing food and make some memories.

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

But back to the Michigan salad. I like a hearty salad that keeps me filled for a while so I don’t snack unnecessarily. 

This salad has it all: fresh blueberries, raspberries, toasted pecans, tangy Granny Smith apples, sliced chicken and Gorgonzola cheese.

For kicks, I decided to bread and saute the Gorgonzola, but if you’re short on time or want to keep things easy, just crumble a little on top.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of champagne vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt

I used my immersion blender to combine the ingredients for the raspberry vinaigrette, but a regular blender works fine too. Just a few simple ingredients for a dressing that’s way better than any you’ll find in a store. 

Begin with a bed of greens, then layer the other ingredients. If you’d like, go ahead and add some tomatoes too. I  like to switch our different fruits depending on what’s in season. Fresh peaches can’t be beat.

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

This Michigan Salad is mostly savory with a little sweetness from the fruit.

The blueberries are a nod to camping trips in Michigan’s upper peninsula where we sometimes picked wild blueberries. . .until I saw a large snake who apparently also appreciated fresh berries. That was promptly the end of my blueberry picking days. 

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

I hope you enjoy the salad as much as I do. It’s a meal of summer freshness all in one bowl. 

Michigan Salad recipe inspired by the classic Michigan Salad, but updated with with farm-fresh ingredients and a homemade raspberry-champagne vinaigrette.

 

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Michigan (Cherry) Salad
Ingredients
Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1-2  tablespoons honey to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
Michigan (Cherry) Salad
  • 3 cups mixed greens or romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, sliced matchstick
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced (rotisserie works well too!)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved optional
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
Instructions
  1. Use an immersion blender (or regular) and blend vinaigrette ingredients until smooth.  

  2. Blend salad ingredients, top with dressing, crumbled gorgonzola and combine. OPTIONAL: fried gorgonzola cheese. Cut the gorgonzola into cubes. Dip into a beaten egg, then in bread crumbs (Pankow used), pressing the breading into place. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a skillet. When the oil is hot, add the cheese cubes browning on both sides (but do not melt). Top the salad with the warm, fried gorgonzola.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    June 21, 2016

    I also have a problem with the price some restaurants charge for salads. Ridiculous!! This salad looks beautiful with all the fresh ingredients, and the dressing is perfect. Pinned. Thanks for sharing.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 22, 2016

      Happy Wednesday Mary! Good thing we can cook and make our own beautiful salads, right? Enjoy and thank you! 🙂

  2. Leave a Reply

    Ray
    June 22, 2016

    This salad is great with a glass of white wine and a seat at the patio with the umbrella open.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 22, 2016

      Thanks Ray! 🙂 — You picked the perfect spot to enjoy the salad, too — bet you know the perfect wine as well 😉

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