Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spiced Pecan Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

As much of yall know, pumpkin is my favorite fall flavor. But coming in a close second, is maple. It just exudes warmth and coziness; a little welcome into cooler temperatures and hibernation. Combined with dijon mustard to make the dressing on this salad, it is a great mix of rich, spicy, and sweet. The same can be said for the spiced pecans. In fact, I knew The Boy & I would love the pecans, as we had just enjoyed something similar at the taproom of our local brewery. So just to be safe, I doubled the amount of pecans! They make for a delicious snack all on their own.

I love recipes like this, because it’s just like something I could get at a local cafe. Don’t get me wrong I love to eat out, but even more I love being able to save money, and still eat well. One of my Nashville “foodie” friends shared this recipe on her blog, and I knew I needed to make it! Food-wise Beth likes a lot of the same stuff I do, so I was pretty sure this would be a winner. She has great “taste” what can I say?


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Spiced Pecan Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

from EatDrinkSmile
Serves 6.

Ingredients:

Spiced Pecans:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup pecan halves

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 small shallot, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Salad:
8 cups Mixed Salad Greens
6 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 Bartlett Pears, cut into 1/4" slices
Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Spiced Pecans:
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; add oil, and stir. Add pecans and toss until well coated. Bake at 350 on a sheet for 12-15 minutes. (You might want to stir/toss them at the half way point.) Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside.

Salad:
Combine salad greens and dressing in a large bowl and toss. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates. Sprinkle each with cheese, pecans, and black pepper. Top with pear slices and serve.

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6 Responses to “Spiced Pecan Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette”

  1. 1
    Liesl — October 20, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    This does sound refreshing. I love salads like that.

  2. 2
    Maria — October 20, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    What a gorgeous salad!

  3. 3
    Beth — October 20, 2009 @ 11:17 am

    Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! It's one of my favorite fall/winter salads. I always make extra of the spiced pecans too. Actually last night while I was making dinner, I was snacking on some that were left over from when I made the salad last week πŸ™‚

  4. 4
    Laura @ Hungry and Frozen — October 21, 2009 @ 12:23 am

    That vinaigrette sounds soooo good. Actually this whole recipe sounds delicious…there's nothing like maple. And it's always nice to have cafe-style food at home for way cheaper than it costs out!

  5. 5
    Karine — October 21, 2009 @ 3:58 am

    I love your spices pecans! they must be amazing in your salad πŸ™‚

  6. 6
    sheila @ Elements — February 25, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    That sounds awesome! I might give this a try one day…except without the mustard and Gorgonzola cheese. I don’t care much for either. But spiced pecans and pears sounds wonderful together! πŸ™‚

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