Autumn Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Autumn Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette

If there’s one new recipe you want to make this holiday season – let this be it! But really, don’t wait for the holidays to make this salad, you’re going to go nuts over it! I went to a dinner at our church had last week (a pot-luck type), there wasn’t a whole lot that caught my attention until I walked by this salad. My senses loved everything about it – it was so pretty, and I could just smell the balsamic vinegar coming from the dressing. It was basically the only thing I ate (sorry everyone there if I didn’t leave much for you). Then I basically sat around like a stalker waiting for someone to pick up that salad bowl so I could get the recipe (I had a good idea of what was in it but it’s a bit easier when you have somewhere to start). Well, I was in luck I just happened to be walking back to find out who made the salad and a woman picked up her bowl and I begged her for the recipe. I told her I’d give her $500, okay not really but that what it’s worth. She so kindly e-mailed it to me and I went from there. I made a few changes of my own, to go along with a few changes that she made (the original recipe called for asiago cheese and cashews and she swapped those out with parmesan and walnuts. She also used a bag of romaine salad mix instead of using half a head of each red and green lettuces). I swapped out the green onions it called for with shallots, added in the dried cranberries, candied the walnuts and added a tad more honey and vinegar). So the recipe has changed quite a bit from it’s original, but that’s the fun part about recipes is that you can add your own twist.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely diced shallot
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 7 oz Spring Salad & Spinach blend
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 Red Anjou Pears, sliced thin (Bartlett pears work fine too)
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Read the whole recipe on Cooking Classy