Salads are my jam! I love them simple, elaborate, or anywhere in between! This is one of my favorites: Greens with Asian Pears and Fig Balsamic. Delightful!
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This salad is made up of mixed greens, sweet asian pears, caramelized nuts and soft goat cheese. These flavors and textures work so well together! Asian Pears are like a cross between an apple and a pear, they are sweet and grainy. If you can’t find them sub for your favorite pear.
I use a beautiful fig flavored balsamic vinegar whisked with heart healthy extra virgin olive oil and a little maple syrup. It literally takes two minutes to make this dressing! Why would anyone ever buy bottled? If you can’t find fig balsamic near you, just use regular aged balsamic.
Not all Syrup is Created Equal!
In fact those bottles you buy at the grocery store usually aren’t even maple syrup. They are high fructose corn syrup, artificial caramel color and artificial maple flavor. I don’t want to name names but one brand pretends to be a relative (an aunt to be specific) and another is married to Mr. Buttersworth and they all live together in a Log Cabin…hint, wink. Real maple syrup is tapped directly from a tree and comes in different grades. I use a grade B in this recipe.
To learn to caramelize nuts watch this video or read this blog post. Variations:
Soft goat cheese counters the sweetness of the pears, maple syrup and caramelized pecans and gives our salad some creaminess. If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese use a mild crumbled feta. If you like strong cheeses use a gorgonzola!
The Recipe: Greens with Pears and Fig Balsamic
Greens with Asian Pears and Fig/Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yield 6 servings
- 4 cups bitter greens
- 1 or 2 ripe Asian pears,sliced
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Caramelized Nuts or Trader Joes Such & Such nut medley
- 1- 5 oz bag herb mix
- 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
- Crumbled feta
- Caramelized Pecans, to taste
- Place all ingredients on a platter and dress.
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 T fig balsamic vinegar
- 1 T real maple syrup (no corn syrup with artificial flavors and colors please)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Combine dressing ingredients in container with lid and shake. Dress salad right before serving. Yum!
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