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Monday, March 4, 2013

Didi's Salad: Pear, Walnuts and Feta ♥

Another idea for an individual serving

My sister Diane (whom we affectionately call Didi or Di)  always makes the best salads.  For a salad to be really good, it has to have a good balance of texture and taste.  The combination of flavours in this one is amazing.  As we were getting ready to prepare a family get-together meal (always the best) on the weekend, we were able to cook together and catch up on family news.  Kitchen moments are, for me, the best.  

I watched as she made it and was surprised when she sautéed the pear slices in a little butter.  I would not have thought of doing this but it was that little extra that made it so good.  The pears become caramelized and this intensifies their flavour.  You can do this ahead of time or just before serving it which adds a different temperature component.  Excellent!  You can replace the feta cheese with blue cheese if you like it.  Pear and blue cheese go very well together.  Combine the ingredients together just before serving (otherwise it will get soggy)  and remember to season with a little salt and pepper.

You will need:  Serves about 4 people

  • 150g (about 7 cups) of mixed salad greens, washed and dried
  • 1 red anjou pear (or whatever type of pear you like - it should not be too ripe)
  • 1tbsp of salted butter
  • 60g (1/2 cup) of walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 65g (1/2 cup) of feta cheese, crumbled
For the salad dressing:
  • 1 1/2tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1tsp of mustard
  • 1tsp of honey
  • 4tbsp of oil of your choice (you can also combine 2tbsp of walnut oil with 2tbsp of vegetable oil for great flavour)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C);
  2. Toast walnuts for about 6 to 8 minutes, set aside;
  3. Peel, core and slice pear into even slices;
  4. Melt butter over medium heat;
  5. Add pear slices and turn over when starting to colour, remove to paper towel to blot off excess fat and set aside;
  6. Put apple cider vinegar (1.5tbsp), mustard (1tsp), honey (1tsp) and oil (4tbsp) in a small bowl and whisk to combine;
  7. Just before serving, season salad greens with salt and pepper;
  8. Add salad dressing and toss well;
  9. Add the toasted walnuts (60 g - 1/2 cup), and crumbled feta (65g - 1/2cup) and toss;
  10. Place in a salad bowl and lay the pear slices on top.  
  11. Enjoy!  Thanks Di!

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