Sweet Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Salad is such a versatile dish. You can have it as a side or a main meal. You can make it sweet or savory. You can dress it up with fancy ingredients like pecans and blue cheese or keep it traditional with carrots and tomatoes. As part of my effort to avoid dirty dozen produce items, I bought a package of organic baby spinach. I wasn’t in the mood for a traditional salad, so I decided to make a sweet Bosc pear and goat cheese salad. To create some texture, I toasted walnuts in a little bit of coconut oil, honey, and salt. They added a sweet crunch that was mellowed out by the soft goat cheese. The dried cranberries not only made the salad more colorful, but they also added a tart flavor that helped balance out the sweetness of the pears and walnuts, as did the tangy champagne vinegar dressing. It was simple, yet it looked elegant and it tasted delicious!
Ingredients for sweet pear and goat cheese salad:
*Serves 2 (double recipe for 4)
3 cups of organic baby spinach, washed and dried
1 Bosc pair, washed and sliced
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of honey
1/4 tsp of salt
Ingredients for tangy champagne vinegar dressing:
2 tbsp of champagne vinegar
1/4 tsp of salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin)
1- I started off by making the dressing, which was very simple. I added the vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon to a mixing bowl. I briefly whisked them together before adding the olive oil slowly as I whisked it in. Make sure the dressing is well combined as you add more olive oil (otherwise it will separate).
2- Make the nut mixture by adding the coconut oil to a frying pan. When the pan is hot toast the nuts for about 2 minutes over medium heat before adding the honey and salt. Stir the mixture around and let the nuts toast for another 2 minutes.
3- Take the walnuts off the heat. Prepare the other salad ingredients by washing the spinach and pear. Dry the salad and add it to your serving bowl. Slice the pear and throw that in too. Then add the cranberries, dressing, cheese, and nuts (after they have cooled for a few minutes.
4- Toss ingredients and serve.
Feel free to post your favorite salad recipes below!