California Golden Raisin Vinaigrette

  • 6 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 Cup California golden raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons pear cider
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper; to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


California Golden Raisin Vinaigrette

At least 8 hours in advance, measure vinegar, sugar and salt into a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan. Combine pickling spice, garlic, cinnamon stick, and pepper flakes in cheesecloth and tie into bundle; add to saucepan. Heat to simmer over medium heat; stir in raisins, and remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain well, reserving raisins and liquid, separately; discarding spice packet. Chill, thoroughly.

Then, combine reserved liquid, mustard, cider and shallots in blender. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil, and process until smooth. Transfer to storage container, and stir in salt, pepper, drained raisins, and parsley. Store in refrigerator until needed.


Heat 12-inch nonstick frypan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and sauté pears just until heated through; turn into large mixing bowl. Add arugula and California Golden Raisin Vinaigrette; adjust seasonings with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to coat well and fold in Bleu cheese. Divide among 4 individual serving plates, and serve with dark rye bread.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fresh Anjou pears, diced
  • 4 Cups baby arugula
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper; to taste
  • 1/4 Cup artisan Bleu cheese, crumbled

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 320 (Calories from Fat 64%); Total Fat 24 ( Saturated Fat 4.5; Trans Fat 0; ); Cholesterol 5; Sodium 550; Potassium 322; Total Carbohydrate 26; Dietary Fiber 2; Sugars 20; Protein 4; Calcium 105; Iron 1;

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Raisins are fat and cholesterol free.