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 Walnuts1/2 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.