A pear salad recipe featuring mixed greens, red pears, goat cheese and candied walnuts. Served with an easy, homemade apricot-balsamic vinaigrette.
The salad is simple, consisting of few ingredients, yet boasting big flavor. For the bed of the salad, mesclun (or spring greens) was just right. This provided a lovely touch of color and also a mild enough salad base to let the pear shine through.
Many pear salads call for blue cheese, but I’ve found while blue cheese and pears are a classic pairing, goat cheese is less overpowering and doesn’t completely mask the flavor of the pear.
Honey coated walnuts add another note of sweetness to the salad, gave it the perfect added crunch and worked beautifully alongside both the pear and the goat cheese.
Lastly, the dressing — quite possibly one of my favorite parts. The dressing is savory-sweet, consisting of store-bought apricot jam, tangy balsamic vinegar, freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of ginger. It is simply put, heavenly.
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A pear salad featuring goat cheese, honey walnuts and an apricot-balsamic vinaigrette.
- 3 tablespoons apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch Kosher salt
- Pinch ground ginger
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 6 cups mesclun or mixed baby greens
- 3 small red pears, sliced (ripe, yet slightly firm)
- 1 cup honey walnuts, chopped (store-bought or see recipe link above)
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
In a small mixing bowl, combine jam, vinegar, honey, nutmeg, salt, and ginger, and whisk to combine.
Slowly drizzle in the canola oil, whisking all the while. Set aside until ready to use.
Combine lettuce, sliced pears, 2/3's of the walnuts and 2/3's of the goat cheese in a large serving bowl and toss to combine.
Sprinkle with remaining walnuts and goat cheese, serve and enjoy.
Recipe makes about a 1/3 cup of dressing.