Awesome Maple-Balsamic Blue Cheese Pear Salad

Ingredients

  • DRESSING:
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or white wine, or red wine vinegar)
  • 3 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper + pinch of salt
  • SALAD:
  • 5 c mixed salad greens (of your choice)
  • 1 pkg baby spinach
  • 2 red pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 c crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • 1 c candied walnuts (*recipe below)
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries
  • 1 or 2 pinch salt
  • CANDIED PECANS (*OR USE WALNUTS)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (not oleo)
  • 1 c pecan or walnut halves
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 pinch optional: cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
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How to Make Awesome Maple-Balsamic Blue Cheese Pear Salad

  1. TO MAKE CANDIED NUTS: Melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add nuts and sugar. Stir constantly until sugar melts and coats nuts. If desired, add pinch of cayenne or smoked paprika. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place salad greens and spinach, red onion slices, and pear slices into a salad serving bowl. Spread crumbled blue cheese all over, then candied nuts and dried cranberries.
  3. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until well blended. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over salad in the serving bowl. Toss well to coat salad evenlly. Taste, then if needed– add some of remaining dressing.