Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pear Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

If you have some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, this is a great (and healthy, which we all know we're needing after the overindulgence of Thanksgiving) recipe to use some of it up. It is light, refreshing, and delicious, and is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors that somehow manage to meld together perfectly. It can be a main course a side or a starter for your next holiday meal. I happened to have some mushrooms in the fridge, so I sliced them up and added them to my salad. Feel free to add them in you like, or leave them out if you would rather. It is sure to be great either way. Enjoy!

Pear Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from Cooking Light

8 cups romaine lettuce, baby spinach, or mixed greens
2 pears, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
2 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1. Make vinaigrette by combining all dressing ingredients in a blender until completely combined. Set aside.
2. Layer lettuce, pears, onion, blue cheese, and walnuts on plates. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings. 

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