A Fresh Green Salad For Thanksgiving

 pears in bowl

Happy Friday, everyone!  This is my last Thanksgiving-related post, unless I get requests for other dishes . . . what I've listed so far is my hit-parade of annual menu items.  The cooked veg changes from year-to-year (sometimes, my MIL makes a delicious creamy broccoli casserole thingy that's worth the splurge).

Today I'm sharing a nice fall salad recipe that I make on Turkey day.  I have to admit, the salad doesn't get as much play as the other side dishes.  But I happen to love a green salad amongst all the richness.  Don't get me wrong, I love richness too, but a little somethin' to cut the grease is always good.

Cranberry Pear Salad With Candied Walnuts

1/2 c. apricot nectar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. canola oil
2 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 T. sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
12 c. fancy mixed salad greens
3 ripe medium pears, sliced into thin slices
1/2 c. dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled


Make the dressing:  in a bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients and set aside. 

Candy the walnuts:  In a heavy skillet, melt the sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Add the walnuts and stir to coat.  Remove from the heat.

Assemble the salad:  In a large salad bowl, combine the green, pears and cranberries.  Drizzle with the dressing.  Add nuts and blue cheese and toss.

Serve immediately.  Yields 12 servings.

Note:  I usually try to pick up some different types of pears for this, some with more brown flesh, some with red . . . makes the salad more colorful!  Also, if you have the wherewithall to plan ahead, get your pears a few days in advance so they'll have time to ripen.  Sweet, juicy pears are best here.

Autumn Pear Salad on Foodista