So if you’ve been with us since the beginning (or if you’ve dug through our archives), you might remember our Candied Apple Walnut Salad, the one that promises to make a blue cheese lover out of even the greatest skeptic. This salad is very similar, only a little more fall-y. So even though we’ve only recently hit slightly cooler temperatures (and only then because we’ve been hammered by Tropical Storm Lee), I’m totally in fall mode and pears just speak to me in a very fall-ish way. Not literally–that would be weird.
This is a great little side salad that is a great transition from summer into cooler temperatures–you could serve it at, say, a Labor Day potluck with grilled goodies or you could serve it alongside your favorite roast beef or pork. You could also add strips of grilled chicken to make and serve larger portions as a dinner salad.
For the dressing, you’ll need red wine vinegar, 1/4 c. minced onion, sugar, coarse-grained mustard (in true Kate fashion, I used Creole mustard), 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You’ll also need your imaginations because I forgot to take pictures of the dressing. Can we still be friends?
Combine the vinegar, minced onion, sugar, mustard, garlic, and salt in the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until combined. Season with black pepper to taste and refrigerate.
For the salad, you’ll need a head of Romaine lettuce, 3 pears, 4-5 ounces of crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese, 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and diced, white sugar, and chopped pecans.
Spray a sheet of foil or parchment with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a small, nonstick skillet (if possible), combine the sugar and chopped nuts. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and coats the nuts evenly in syrup. Spread the candied nuts onto the prepared sheet of foil/parchment and allow to cool completely.
This will serve about 4-6 as a main dish and 8-10 as a side dish.
Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Allrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. coarse-grain mustard (like Creole mustard)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. roughly chopped onion
1/3 c. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. Add the olive oil in a a steady stream until completely blended. Add black pepper to taste and refrigerate until you’re ready to drizzle onto the salad.
1 head Romaine lettuce (2 two heads of Romaine hearts)
3 pears, seeded and diced
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
4-5 ounces crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
Spray a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a small non-stick skillet (if possible), stir the nuts and sugar constantly over medium heat until the sugar melts and the nuts are evenly coated in the sugar syrup. Spread the nuts over the prepared sheet of foil or parchment and let them cool completely.
While the nuts are cooling, toss together the chopped lettuce and diced pears and avocado. Add the crumbled cheese and candied nuts, then drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. If serving as a meal, you can add grilled chicken. Makes 4-6 main dish servings or 8-10 side dish servings.