luna salad

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~luna salad~

I thought, in celebration of the “Full Thunder Moon,” the only full moon this month, I would post one of my favorite salads called “Luna Salad.” My sister Robin shared this recipe with me a few years ago, and we just love the combination of flavors. Crisp, bright spring greens, chewy craisins, crunchy-sweet vanilla almonds, creamy feta, and a tangy Dijon vinaigrette. You can serve this salad as a first course for a big meal, or, do what we do… add grilled chicken breast strips to the salad and it becomes the main course.

This recipe is inspired by the “Luna Salad” from the “Luna Cafe” in Spokane Washington.

arrange in this order…

on each plate:

spring greens or Romaine lettuce

thinly sliced red onion

2 Tablespoons crumbled feta or Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tablespoons craisins

2 Tablespoons caramelized vanilla almonds (recipe below)

a generous drizzle of dressing (recipe below)


1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons fresh, minced garlic

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

shake in a canning jar or cruet

Caramelized Almonds:

1 cup white sugar

1/3 cup water

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 pound almonds (or walnuts)

Cook water, sugar and vanilla over medium heat until light brown-Do not stir. Add nuts, coat well and pour onto a large cookie sheet. Allow to dry for three hours. Whatever you don’t use on the salads, scrape off into an airtight container for later….we love these yummy little confections on ice cream sundaes!



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  10 comments for “luna salad

  1. Kimber Dunn
    July 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

    So beautiful and yummy looking!!!

    • Melissa
      July 15, 2011 at 9:10 am


  2. Chantelle
    July 15, 2011 at 9:29 am


    • Melissa
      July 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

      the perfect combination of flavors! enjoy 🙂

  3. Sandy
    July 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Looks good, but I do need to leave the craisins and also any raisins out. I don’t like any of those in my salads. Can eat separate… 🙂

  4. Melissa
    July 18, 2011 at 10:44 am

    this is a yummy one! enjoy 😉

  5. November 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    OMG…Melissa this looks delicious!! I love all these flavors in this salad. Thanks for sharing your “Melissa Placzek” (lol) on Fit and Fabulous Fridays! 🙂

    • Melissa
      November 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Hi Amee!
      So pleased you like the “Melissa Placzek.” LOL…I looked at my little mistake after I posted the Luna Salad link and couldn’t help but laugh. Oh well, next time I’ll know exactly what to do. Are you going to be doing this every Friday? I’ve got lots of “spa cuisine” recipes 🙂


  6. April 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    THIS is why I love salads! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Melissa
      April 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Stephanie! So glad you like the recipe! enjoy 🙂

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