Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fancy Pear Salad

In a weird roundabout way, the time change was the inspiration for this meal. I got out of work early and I was supposed to head home and start dinner. But it was a particularly hot day, and it was SO light outside from the time change that I could hardly begin thinking about turning on the hot oven and cooking a heavy meal. Instead, I scratched my original dinner idea and walked into the grocery store with a new game plan. I placed an 'emergency' call to my sister, who is the family keeper of the Nordstrom cookbook. I grabbed a few ingredients that I needed to complete the walnuts, vinaigrette, and ingredients that went into this salad. Then I was on my way to the most perfect and delicious salad for dinner. This is a great on all year long; even though pears are in season here from late summer to early fall, you can pretty much find pears at the store at any time of year.

Recipe (serves 5 as entree, or about 8 as a side salad)
10 oz Mixed Baby Greens lettuce/salad mix
1 Pear, sliced or diced
6 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
1/2 batch Candied Walnuts
3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1 batch of Champagne Vinaigrette (drizzle sparingly and serve the rest on the side to add as desired)
*Optional- Chicken, if this is intended as the main dish

Toss all ingredients and plate it up this scrumptious chopped side salad:

Or have fun plating it up fancy:

Or serve it with a breast of grilled, sliced chicken for protein if this salad is to be your main entree:

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