I was feeling fancy one weeknight night and wanted a delicious salad and wanted to use some fruits of the season, apples or pears. Instead of just making a pear salad or roasted pear salad I decided to roast pear halves instead of slices and having a little fun. It was just as easy as throwing together a salad, maybe easier since I wasn’t slicing the pears, and it not only plated nicely but it was delicious. I took a slightly different approach with the dressing instead of whisking up a quick vinaigrette with balsamic and maple syrup I cooked the pears in it to keep them nice and juicy verses the caramelized texture and flavor I usually get roasting them and made a dressing with the reduction. I can’t even explain it but when I got that nice not burnt but rich burnt maple flavor on the greens I fell in love with fall all over again. I like my salads and some years I tend to taper off with my green leafy salads as the months get colder but this year I don’t see that happening. There are so many delicious fall flavors that you can pack in a salad. There are so many levels to this salad and it is so satisfying. You have the greens with a light coating of balsamic and maple reduction, the sweet pear, crunchy walnuts or pecans, and sharp gorgonzola cheese. It all comes together in this simple yet “fancy” salad. It makes a great main dish salad or would work great as a side paired with a bowl of your favorite fall soup or protein of choice.
Roasted Pear Salad
Makes 4 servings, if wanting a main portion or larger salad add more greens or double
10oz spinach, arugula, baby kale or mix of greens (used Earthbound Farms Organic Power Blend of baby spinach, baby red and green chard, and baby kale)
2 ripe but firm pears
1/4c chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4c crumbled gorgonzola cheese
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
1/3c balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a shallow small baking dish with foil, or use a glass or ceramic baking dish that is just large enough to fit the pear halves. Peel pears, cut in half lengthwise, and using a melon baller scoop out seeds. Toss pears with lemon juice and place in baking dish face up. In a small jar or bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and drizzle over pears. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender basting with the juices after 10 minutes. Remove pears and let cool. While the pears are cooling pour reserved balsamic and maple syrup from the pears, you may need to place the pears on a plate so you can get the reduction. Put in a small jar with a tight fighting lid or a small bowl and whisk in oil. In a large bowl toss together the greens and maple balsamic dressing you just made with the oil. Plate greens and top or place a half a pear next to the greens. Fill the center of each pear with 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts and 1 tablespoon of cheese. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Enjoy!
This Roasted Pear Salad is perfect for #MeatlessMonday, and full of flavor! #SweatPink #FitFluential Click To Tweet