After nuts from more than 700 recipe submissions were chopped, diced and halved, Fisher Nuts and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli have announced the winner of the first-ever “My Fresh Twist” Recipe contest – a Walnut-Bleu Date Vinaigrette Salad, submitted by Lori McLain from Denton, Texas.
Fisher invited consumers from across the U.S. to submit an original recipe featuring nuts at www.myfreshtwist.com for a chance to win a grand prize trip for two to New York City to meet Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. Fisher fans voted to select the top ten finalists from more than 700 recipe submissions, and from there the winning recipe was selected by a panel of judges, including Chef Guarnaschelli.
Recipe submissions were judged on their originality, integration of nuts, taste and visual appeal. “This salad is deceptively simple. It’s really built around the walnuts instead of just having walnuts in it,” says Guarnaschelli. “The pureed dates in the dressing are a brilliant way to add body and some deep, dried fruit sweetness to a salad dressing. This dressing bolsters the fresh fruit. It leaves the richness and satisfaction factor of this salad in the hands of the walnuts. The salty cheese ties it together, and I really enjoyed the textures and flavors. It’s very creative and easy to make – my kind of recipe!”
The grand prize winner, Lori McLain, says she watched her mom and grandma cook up traditional comfort foods. “We had a lot of dishes made with nut meats and dried fruits. I am especially fond of walnuts and dates and find any chance to experiment with them,” “My salad was inspired by my simple cravings! I love toasting Fisher Nuts to get extra flavor, and then just added a few of my other favorites into the mix,” McLain says.