Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not Another Ho-hum Salad

Truth: I don't like salad. I really don't. I absolutely adore those restaurants that allow you to choose between soup and salad because I just think soup is so superior. In all honesty, if the only option is salad, I usually just pass. At events where you're automatically served a salad, I tend to nibble and push the stuff around my plate. I am one of those people. I truly don't understand women who claim they're happy making a meal out of salad. That's just not me...

But last April I attended a wedding and was served the salad course along with everyone else. I nibbled. And nibbled. And my eyes grew wide. I plowed through that entire salad. I was so thrilled by the unique combination of flavors, such a far cry from the "lettuce and tomato with balsamic viniagerette" to which I was accustomed. I still talk about that salad... just ask my mom.

It took me awhile to hunt down a recipe that replicated all the delicious flavors weaving through that salad but, now that I finally have, I'm going to save you the legwork. Without further ado...

Baby Greens, Pear, Bleu Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad
(the recipe I found calls for walnuts, but I the one I fell in love with had candied pecans... use whatever appeals to you!)


  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens
  • 2 large ripe pears, halved, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup candied pecans (I bought mine candied, but they can be easily made by simmering in a simple syrup)

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Divide greens among 6 plates. Top with pear slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese and candied pecans. Drizzle lightly with remaining dressing and serve.

Delicious! Once you dress this salad, it's best eaten right away. Now this! This salad I would choose over soup...
For more great recipes, check out the Recipe Swap hosted at the Grocery Cart Challenge!

To go along with today's Progressive Dinner stop, I am giving away one copy of FishMama's Guide To Cooking With Children ebook. To enter, just leave a comment. One winner will be selected on Sunday, Dec. 21st.

What salads are you serving up this holiday season? Or are you serving a soup? Either way, we'd love to have you share! Post your recipe on your blog and come back and link up with us. Don't have a blog? Feel free to tell us what you're fixing in the comments!

Don't miss a course! Be part of our Bloggy Progressive Dinner all week long!


Ryann said...

I also once had a salad at a catered dinner that I loved. My friend's mom was the caterer... perhaps I should try to get the recipe. It, too, had spinach, fruit (strawberries), and candied nuts.

Charlene said...

You sound like me--I'm pick soup over salad every time! I do have a post on my blog for "crab salad" that I actually use as an appetizer spread with crackers.

No Mr Linky to put up the link, but check it out if you can!

KellytheKitchenKop.com said...

I loooove salads and all this talk is making me hungry, thanks a lot!


FishMama said...

Pie and salad! How can we be soooo alike, yet so different? ;)

But, this is the salad I was thinking of posting, so I guess we're still alike. Only mine has ruby red grapefruit instead of pears. Yummm.

Jennifer, A Self-Confessed Foodie said...

This is such a cool idea!

I like a spinach salad with a poppyseed dressing, mandarin orange segments and caramelized almonds.

Allison said...

This sounds delicious! I love fruit in my salads, but have never thought about pears. I can't wait to try it!

Judy said...

I am not a huge salad person either but your recipe looks yummy.

Anonymous said...

I like salad anyway, and that recipe sounds good too. Thanks! If only I had the ingredients on hand right now.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

This does sound yummy! I've eaten one similar that has strawberries & blueberries with the blue cheese & candies pecans and a poppy seed dressing. I think yours just might be a great addition to our Christmas dinner! Thanks for sharing.

Kristen said...

I love the combination of greens, nuts and fruit. Yum!

Jennifer said...

I don't really like salad either. I never eat it unless I get a weird craving when we are out. And then it has to be loaded with lots of toppings, like ham, turkey, cheese, egg, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. The more stuff on top and the less lettuce the better!

Judy said...

Love new salad recipes...thanks!

Heather & Chaos said...

I am one of those that can eat a salad as a meal. I LOVE me some salad. But it is all about the dressing. A bad dressing (or even a dressing you just aren't in the mood for that day) can RUIN the salad. I'll have to try this one out. THANKS!!

Sweetpeas said...

I'd love to win the e-book!