Lately, I've been addicted this salad - a delicious combination of tender butter lettuce, crisp, sweet pears, creamy goat cheese, and spiced, candied pecans.
It's loosely inspired by a similar salad that I often get at Pie In the Sky, a little, hole in the wall pizza place in the heart of downtown Berkeley just a minute's walk from my office (update: this classic joint has closed :() Their version consists of pear, romaine lettuce, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and either a lemon or caesar dressing.
I prefer to use a light balsamic vinaigrette and either a red leaf or butter lettuce which is more tender and tasty to my mind. I've also been using these candied pecans to add some scrunch and sweetness.
My basic dressing recipe is below but keep in mind that's flexible so feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes. I usually make a big batch since it keeps well in the fridge in one of these great working jars with a lid (I love these things!) and makes it easier to produce a tasty salad quickly.
Between the fruit, nuts and cheese, this salad is hearty enough to fill you up for several hours - makes a perfect lunch.
For the salad
* Small head of lettuce, rinsed and dried
* 4 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
* 1 large, ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced (if you love pears, use more than one)
* 1 cup of candied pecans (if you're short on time, you can also just toast the nuts - not quite as delicious but still tasty)
For the dressing
* 2/3 cup organic olive oil
* 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 Tbsp maple syrup
* 2 tsps Dijon or whole grain mustard
* 1 small clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
* Pinch of sea salt
* Couple grinds black pepper
1. Make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together with a fork then taste and adjust the amounts, if needed. I like to make the dressing ahead of time if possible as that gives the flavors more time to develop.
2. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces, filling a medium bowl then layer the sliced pear on top and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and candied nuts. Drizzle the dressing over it all and serve.
You might also like:
- Nutty Forbidden Rice, Kale and Beet Salad
- Lemony, Garlicky Salad of Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Kale with Toasted Almonds & Parmesan Curls
- Grilled Radicchio Salad with Balsamic & Shaved Parmesan
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