I have no idea how I found this recipe, but thank God I did. I have eaten this salad three or four times a week for the past month and I’m still not tired of it. If you know me, you know that is a *big* deal. I love food far too much to repeat meals, but I love this salad far too much to not repeat it.
It’s a bed of mixed salad greens topped with pear slices, oranges, candied pecans, and crumbled cheese. This sweeter salad is topped with a garlicky mustard vinaigrette and the sweet/savory combination is phenomenal. I’ve had a similar salad with a sweet dressing and it can be overwhelmingly sweet. Not so with this dressing. It’s like the savory yin to the salad’s sweet yang.
pear salad with mustard vinaigrette dressing
adapted from www.allrecipes.com
several cups of mixed salad greens
1 pear, thinly sliced
1 orange, peeled and thinly sliced (or use candied oranges)
2 ounces crumbly cheese (gorgonzola, blue cheese, white cheddar, etc.)
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Place the baby greens in a large, flat bowl. Top with pear slices, oranges, and cheese.
In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool and break into pieces. Sprinkle over the salad.
For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and pass additional dressing at the table.