One of our favorite places to eat, when I'm not cooking at home, is a locally owned restaurant, Arris Pizza on Republic Road. Started in Jefferson City, MO in 1961 by Arris Pardalos, we're lucky to have one his few franchises here in Springfield, just a couple of miles from home. The pizza is thin-crusted crunchiness that we love with generous toppings and the salads are to die for. They serve pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and salads, almost all of which are made from scratch in house but we are bad about sticking to our favorites: Gene's is the Hercules with ground beef, Greek sausage, bacon, and Canadian bacon, while mine is the Veg Head (tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black olives, green peppers, spinach, and mushrooms) plus Greek sausage. Gene jokes that I shouldn't be allowed to ordered a vegetarian pizza and then add sausage to it, but hey, it's my party--and it's so yummy!
Of course they have Greek Salad (duh!) and a Caesar, but my favorite is the Berry salad with spinach, romaine, berries in the summer or dried cranberries, bleu cheese, toasted walnuts, and their homemade red wine vinaigrette. Even when I'm cooking at home I love to serve my version of this salad. The combination of fresh green, sweet berries, savory walnuts, with the bite of bleu cheese and the sweet fruity dressing is the essence of the perfect bite, in my mind and mouth.
Disclaimer: I don't claim that this dressing recipe is directly from Arris, and I have no connection to the restaurant or its owners, but this recipe is one of my go-to vinaigrettes as it tops a delicious salad to serve at home that is similar to the one I always order there.
Copycat Arris Pizza Spinach Salad w/Dried Cranberries, Bleu Cheese, Walnuts
and Red Wine Vinaigrette
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
(No affiliation with Arris Pizza, just a fan)
2 large handfuls baby Spinach
2 large handfuls Romaine, chopped or torn
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 oz Bleu Cheese crumbles
1/4 cup Walnut pieces, toasted
3Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp spicy brown Mustard (or Dijon)
1 pinch dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) For Salad: Toast walnuts in a dry non-stick pan over medium heat until starting to give off aroma. Do not burn. Cool.
2) Toss all salad ingredients together.
3) For Vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients together and toss with salad just prior to serving.
Sweet and Sour Mushrooms
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
- 1 1/2 lbs Mushrooms, all white or mix of species
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rounds or crescents
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (Can use Splenda brown sugar which reduces almost all of the sugar carbohydrates/calories)
- 1/4 cup Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce or Spicy All Purpose Sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Wash and dice (or quarter if smaller) mushrooms.
2) Saute onion in olive oil. When transparent, add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
3) Mix together vinegar, sugar, and Country Bob's in a small bowl. Add to mushrooms, Lightly salt and pepper.
4) Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened and syruppy.
Makes 2 cups.
Nutrition per 1/2 cup serving: Calories: 95; Protein: 3; Carbs: 32; Fat: 0.3; Fiber: 1; Weight Watchers Points: 1