Harvest Pear Salads
Spending a significant time making a side salad is probably not something I would ever do if I was just cooking for myself and my husband here at home. I just tend to plan my meals around a fancier main course and use salads as the obligatory-must-eat-the-greens filler. But being invited to a dinner party and having only salad as my responsibility makes it an entirely new ballgame.
I pretty much knew this salad would be a winner with the dinner guests the minute I read the recipe. Who doesn’t love a mix of lettuces, sweet but tart cranberries, crunchy toasted pecans, and an ever popular raspberry vinaigrette? Luckily, I knew the main course being served, chicken, would be enhanced but not overshadowed by this almost-show-stopping salad.
The original recipe calls for goat cheese – and I really wish I included it in this recipe (but, alas, there were some dietary restrictions preventing that lovely combination), so if you are a fan of goat cheese then please don’t hesitate to include it.
Fall Harvest Pear Salad (adapted from Pink Parsley)
- 2 Tbs raspberry preserves
- 2-3 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup raspberry or sherry vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz mixed greens
- 4 oz baby spinach or arugula
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- 2-3 Tbs dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- 1-2 ripe but firm pears, sliced
- Make the vinaigrette by whisking together all ingredients listed above.
- Next, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, toss the greens lightly with the 3/4 of the dressing previously prepared, reserving some for later.
- Top with dried cranberries, cheese (if using), and pecans.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the pears over the top of the salad, and drizzle with more dressing if desired.