So we’re three weeks out from Halloween and if your blog/Facebook/Pinterest feed looks anything like mine, it’s jam-packed with pumpkin and spice and apples and baking and cakes and candy and all that. And we’ve been whole-hearted participants in that trend, so I’m not pointing fingers here.
I’m kind of needing a detox. If, you know, a salad that has 2 cups of sugar in the dressing can be considered detoxifying (in all fairness, it makes lots of dressing, and since we can’t eat the salad all at once, I just keep it on the side and add just a little.)
My friend Bekah recently made this salad and everyone was dying of amazingness. Giant, juicy blackberries, sweet red pears, salty bacon and crumbled cheese. Plus a poppy seed vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, which might just be my favorite vinegar of all the vinegars. If you’re looking to round it out as a meal salad, it wouldn’t be terrible with avocado and/or grilled chicken. Just sayin’. I would just marinade the chicken in a little of the salad dressing for a few hours before grilling.
For the dressing, you’re going to need sugar, salt, dry mustard, a small onion, red wine vinegar, oil (like canola or peanut or other vegetable oil), and poppy seeds.
In the jar of a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Transfer the dressing to a storage or serving container and whisk in the poppy seeds.
Refrigerate until ready to use. You can do this step up to a week ahead of time.
In a large bowl, add some torn romaine lettuce,
and a bag of baby mixed greens…
Chop some nuts. I actually used these Holiday Fried Pecans and there are kind of no words for how amazing they were.
(This is when I realize my original large bowl was way too small, so I upgrade to a larger bowl, that is also about to be too small. This recipe makes a lot.)
Add some crumbled cheese. Gorgonzola…blue…feta…whatever speaks to you. Today, feta was speaking to me because it was in my fridge.
Slice up some red pears…
And wash some blackberries…
Add some chopped bacon and toss them all together. Right before serving, toss the salad with the dressing, or just offer it on the side (especially if there’s a chance there will be leftovers. You’ll be sad to throw this one away if it’s wilted, I promise.)
Full of flavor, crunch, and with a vinaigrette to kill, this Blackberry & Pear Salad is guaranteed not to disappoint.
For the salad
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 package mixed greens
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans), roasted
- ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola, blue, or feta cheese
- 3–4 red or green pears, sliced
- 1 small package blackberries, washed
For the dressing
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ cup oil
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- In the jar of a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Blend until smooth.
- With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Transfer the dressing to a storage or serving container and whisk in the poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients.
- To serve, either toss the salad in the dressing immediately before serving or allow people to drizzle it on individual salads. Makes a lot. Like enough for a large party.
- Makes a lot. As in, enough for a large party.