Saturday, March 16, 2013

Refreshing Pear Salad in a Tower

        To any of you who have wondered where I've been for the past few weeks, has seemed to get a bit busier.  I'm not sure why, but I just have had a hard time gettin' it together.  It might have something to do with recovering from the enormous sugar high I'd been on in the month of February.  I mean...we're talking A LOT OF CHOCOLATE, people!  Anyway, here we are in the middle of March already.  I thought it was about time to get myself on the computer and reconnect.
    So.....after all those desserts, wonderful as they were, I thought it would be nice to share something light and refreshing; something that didn't list sugar or chocolate as the main ingredients!  And here it is......a delicious salad made with pears, watercress, pecans, and blue cheese, dressed in a honey and Dijon vinaigrette.  And, to make it even more fun, it's served in a rather unconventional way.  It's like a little tower of goodness on a plate!  

    I found the basic recipe in an old issue of Better Homes And Gardens magazine.  I tweaked the amounts a bit to suit my taste and used a vinaigrette recipe from "Rachael Ray 2,4,6,8".  This makes a beautiful appetizer or, if you don't feel like being fancy, you could slice or chop up the pears and toss everything together in a bowl for a nice side salad or light lunch.

    Here are the main ingredients for this delicious salad.  And...... is that not the cutest little whisk you've ever seen??  It makes me smile!

Refreshing Pear Salad in a Tower     (serves 4)

4 smooth-skinned pears
Fresh lemon juice
2 cups watercress
2 tblsp. pecans (toasted at 350 for 10-12 min.)
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese

2 tblsp. Dijon mustard
2 tblsp. honey
3 tblsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Toss the watercress, pecans, and blue cheese together. Add enough of the vinaigrette to moisten the salad, but don't soak it.   

Core the pears from the bottom, keeping the stems intact.  Then slice each pear into 4 horizontal slices.  Brush the cut sides with lemon juice and reassemble the pears with the salad mix in between.  Drizzle with honey and serve.  DELICIOUS!!

Note:  I've given the original recipe amounts but, if you want a more substantial salad, just increase them as you desire.

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