I don’t know about you guys, but to me an iceberg + ranch dressing salad is so blasé. I prefer my salad with a bit of pizzazz.
Thus, when I saw Jennifer’s recipe for a mix of spring greens, pears, sugared walnuts and gorgonzola, I was very much excited to give it a go. The list of ingredients was just different enough to make it interesting but familiar enough to make it appetizing.
Let me show you how to throw (or toss) it together!
First off, these are the things you’ll need: spring salad greens (or any type of lettuce you prefer), red pear, fresh herbs of choice (I left these out), gorgonzola, walnut halves, white sugar, brown sugar, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar (I used pomegranate-infused), ground mustard, salt and garlic powder.
Begin by sugaring the walnuts: Over medium heat, sauté the walnuts with white and brown sugars. Stir often.
The sugars will begin to melt after a few minutes. When the walnuts are toasty, light brown and covered with the melted sugar, they’re done.
Remove to wax paper (I used parchment) and allow to cool.
Now make the salad dressing: In a small jar place the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt …
And garlic powder.
Screw on the lid and shake like mad until well combined.
Thinly slice your pear.
Now it’s time to assemble your salad. Put your greens in a bowl.
Add the sliced pears …
Sugared walnuts …
Homemade salad dressing …
And gorgonzola cheese.
Isn’t that prettiest thing you ever did see?
1. Because I wasn’t taking this salad to a large gathering, I only fixed myself a small bowl. If you want to mix up a big bowl, I would suggest not adding the toppings until just before serving.
2. I thought the vinaigrette was lovely, but Reuben thought it was a bit sour. You could decrease the amount of vinegar if you prefer a milder dressing.
I love all kinds of salad and this one is no exception! I also love gorgonzola and bleu cheese.
Salad: Combine spring greens, pears and herbs (if desired) in a large salad bowl. Top with cooled sugared walnuts.
Right before serving, toss salad with desired amount of dressing. Add gorgonzola crumbles at the very last, tossing lightly to incorporate into the salad.
Sugared walnuts: In a small pan, saute walnuts and white and brown sugar over medium heat until walnuts are caramelized, stirring often (they will be light brown and coated with melted sugar), approximately 4-6 minutes. Spread the walnuts on foil or waxed paper. After they cool, break apart.
For the dressing: Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and garlic powder in a jar or container with a lid and shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- 6 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
- 2 whole Red Pears, Cored And Thinly Sliced
- Your Choice Of Fresh Herbs, To Taste (optional)
- 8 ounces, weight Gorgonzola Cheese, Coarsely Crumbled
- 1 cup Walnut Halves
- 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ½ cups Oil
- ⅓ cups Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Ground Mustard
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ¼ teaspoons Garlic Powder
Newly-married Erica Kastner shares her wonderful recipes and amazing food photography on her blog, Cooking for Seven. She also writes about crafts and posts more of her beautiful photography in her personal blog, EricaLea.com. There really isn’t much that this amazing young lady can’t do, and we’re thrilled she does some of it here.