Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sliced Pear and Caramelized Pecan Salad

Crunchy, spicy-sweet pecans; crisp, cool pears; smooth, nutty Gruyere--are you drooling yet? This is a simple little salad (once you make the nuts, which are a snap), and it tastes and looks like something you would pay $10 for in a restaurant. Wonderful with a really good steak--enjoy!

Sliced Pear and Caramelized Pecan Salad
serves 4

for the pecans:

.5 cup pecan pieces
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
generous pinch sea salt
splash water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Mix everything but the pecans in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until combined and becoming liquidy. Add pecans, stir for 1-2 minutes until well coated. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (tossing once or twice), until golden. Let cool completely before using (that way they will have a crunchy coating).

for the salad:
one pear (nearly any variety, I used bosc)
one small head radicchio
one small head bibb lettuce
caramelized pecans
Perfect Vinaigrette
hunk of Gruyere

Wash and dry lettuces, tear into medium-sized pieces. Slice your pear into thin slivers, arrange with the lettuces. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with pecans, and top with a pretty shaving or two of Gruyere. Of course, if you prefer you can grate the Gruyere, but I'm a sucker for presentation and this just looks so lovely. Doesn't it?


Melissa CookingDiva said...

One of my favorite salads has caramelized pears, pecans, baby greens, and of course gorgonzola.

Yours looks beautiful :)
Hugs from Panama!

Marianne said...

Mmmm...gorgonzola, my favorite. Sadly, anything near the blue cheese family is out for my husband. He isn't picky about much other than that, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any other recipes that you are willing to post? Please???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great recipe. The dressing was perfect.

Anonymous said...

absolutely delicious, I didn't have gorgonzola so used shaved parmesan instead. making it again for lunch guests tomorrow. The dressing is a must and so simple to make.