Salad of Baby Greens with Chopped Pear, Blue Cheese and Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salads | 02/01/2015 | By

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

For years I have enjoyed this salad at my local Nordstrom Cafe, Bazille. Originally, it had steak slices in it. Then Shrimp. Now it’s the plain salad but I always order a side of grilled shrimp to go with it. The crunchy pecans, tangy dressing, fresh pear … amazing melange of flavors and textures! I have published the dark cherry vinaigrette dressing separately as it’s good not only with this salad but seafood and meat as well!

SALAD OF BABY GREENS WITH BLUE CHEESE, PEAR AND DARK CHERRY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients for Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jar of pitted dark cherries in syrup – no preservatives or artificial anything – see substitution notes below
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp of finely chopped shallots
½ tsp salt

Ingredients for Candied Pecans:
1 cup of pecans
¼ cup of sugar
1 tbsp of unsalted butter

Ingredients for Salad:
2 large handfuls of mixed baby salad greens like mesclun
¼ red onion thinly sliced
2 tbsp of dried cranberries or dried cherries
½ pear chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp of crumbled blue cheese pieces
2 tbsp of dark cherry balsamic vinaigrette (original recipe here – but also below)
2 tbsp of candied pecans (recipe below)

Instructions for Vinaigrette:
Remove the cherries from the jar and remove the stalks and/or stones if they have any
Put the cherries into a blender with the balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic
Blend until everything is thoroughly combined
In a small heavy bottomed pan, add 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar and cook the chopped shallots for about 3 minutes until the liquid has evaporated
Transfer the blended cherry mixture to this small pan with shallots and, heating gently, reduce by half stirring occasionally
Cool slightly
Add the sesame oil and red wine vinegar
Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking

Instructions for Candied Pecans:
Put all ingredients in a pan and on a gentle heat, melt the butter and sugar, stirring the pecans all the time
When he sugar and butter have caramelized and darken a bit remove from the heat and immediately spread the pecans on parchment paper
Be careful not to burn the pecans – oh so easy to do!

Instructions for Salad:
Place salad leaves in a bowl and top with blue cheese, pecans, pear slices, onion slices and dressing
Optional: Add grilled shrimp or grilled steak strips

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and CarolinesFamilyKitchen.com

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