Christmas_2015_0005

After yesterday’s post, I received several comments about the salad that Mike and I served at Christmas. We made this salad for the first time at our yearly Friendsgiving, a year ago, and fell in love with it. I honestly don’t even remember what made us put these ingredients together but I’m so glad we did! It’s super easy to make but has a few steps from grilling the pears to roasting the pecans.

For the salad itself you will need:

  • Baby Spinach
  • Bartlett Pears, cut into wedges (Mike used an apple slicer) You will want 2 -3 slices per plate
  • 1 bag of Pecan halves 
  • A little bit of brown sugar and honey for the pecans, maybe a tablespoon of each to start
  • A little bit of light tasting olive oil, for the pears
  • Feta Cheese

For the Pears –  To grill the pears we used our grill pan, but they would taste great (probably even better) on an actual grill as well. After the pears are cut into wedges I placed them in a bowl and lightly coated them with light tasting olive oil. Light tasting olive oil is NOT the same as extra virgin olive oil. It has a much lighter taste, which makes it great for this recipe. After the pears are coated, place them on your grill pan on low heat and let them sit until the skin on the back of the pear begins to brown. Flip the pear wedge and grill until the other half of the skin becomes browned. I waited to flip mine until half of the skin was browned. If you want your grill marks to look pretty I would suggest not lifting your pear slices other than to flip them once. Otherwise your grill marks will be all over the place. I ended up using one wedge as my tester and kept checking that one to see the progress so that I didn’t mess up all of them. Be sure to keep your heat on low so that the pears don’t burn before they get cooked the whole way through.

For the Pecans – Take a little bit of honey and brown sugar and the bag of pecans and toss them together in a small skillet over low heat. Honestly, Mike made these and he doesn’t measure things often, so I don’t know exact measurements for the honey and sugar. I would just say to start off small and you can always add more as you go. Continue heating/mixing them until the honey sugar mixture molds onto the pecans. Be careful not to burn these to the pan. Honey and high heat do not go well together :)

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light tasting olive oil

 

Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Now to put the salad together. Place spinach on a salad plate and top with roasted pecans. Place 2 – 3 grilled pear slices on top and sprinkle with feta. Drizzle poppy seed dressing on top, then eat and enjoy!

Table for Two
Grilled Pear and Spinach Salad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.