Pear Balsamic Salad

This classic pear salad draws its contrasting flavors from the sweet pears, salty cheese, toasted nuts and tangy balsamic dressing. A flavor combination that is sure to satisfy every taste bud. To make this salad a hearty meal, top with grilled chicken breast or salmon.

YIELD: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
Dressing
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon minced shallots
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste

Salad
• 1/2 cup pecans
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 8 ounces mixed greens
• 2 Bosc pears, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries)
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

METHOD
1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
2. To make the salad, first preheat the oven to 350°F, spread the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts and stir carefully to coat thoroughly. Let cool completely on the sheet pan.
3. Assemble the salad just before serving; add greens to individual plates or a serving bowl, layer on the sliced pears, dried cranberries, feta cheese and cooled candied pecans. Serve with dressing on the side or toss just before serving.

Recipe created by: Meg Raines