i should be mopping the floor: Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad

Today's delicious recipe and #TurkeyDayHacks are brought to you by Bounty.
I'm a member of the #QuickerPickerUpper Crew. All opinions and recipe are mine.

Add this Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette to your 
Thanksgiving dinner menu for a delicious healthy option that all of your guests will rave about.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
I'm sure a healthy salad may not be the first thing on your list of side dishes for Thanksgiving. But, honestly, this salad packs a punch of flavors that scream Thanksgiving. The citrus from the orange, combined with the cranberry sauce is just the quintessential Thanksgiving "taste". And having something a bit lighter to balance out all of the heavier starchy dishes on your table is a fabulous idea for all of your guests to enjoy. Check out the recipe below.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
I love that pears are the star of this salad. Besides the cranberry and orange juice combo that I mentioned above, the pears really say "AUTUMN! YUM!". And I really love Bosc Pears in this one. My first job when I turned 16 was at a fancier grocery store in Austin called Simon David (they're no longer there, y'all...sniff, sniff). They had more varieties of fruits and veggies than I had ever seen or heard of...like Doughnut Peaches, Star Fruit, and Bosc Pears. I guess Bosc Pears aren't all that fancy, but I grew up in an Anjou household...the land of Bosc was completely foreign to me. I started having a Bosc Pear on my break every day and I fell in love with them (not going to lie to you...I chased that pear with a fancy french croissant from the bakery every now and then...ahem).
But the Bosc Pears in this salad are just perfection...especially since they're dipped in fresh squeezed orange juice! Plus...pears and walnuts? Yes, please. And blue cheese...of course.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
The cranberry sauce that's in the dressing is Thanksgiving perfection.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.


Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad
with Cranberry Vinaigrette 


Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 bunches Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 sliced Bosc Pears
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (about half an orange)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia (can substitute 1 tablespoon brown sugar if you’re feeling naughty)
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Directions:
Add ingredients for dressing into blender and pulse to blend together. Set aside.
After washing lettuce, stack leaves on top of one another and coarsely chop. Place in a
large salad bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice into a shallow dish. Place pear slices
into orange juice to coat, and prevent browning. Layer pears into salad. Add in onion slices and fresh cranberries (if desired). 
Add dressing and toss to coat. 

Top with blue cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
I also wanted to share one of my favorite Turkey Day Hack to make your meal-prep even easier. I loathe going to the grocery store on the days surrounding Thanksgiving...it's such a mad house. I shop a few days ahead of time. To keep vegetables fresh, I use a roll of Bounty Paper towels. My favorite way to store the Romaine Lettuce that I used in this recipe is simple, but will make your lettuce last for like two weeks! I learned this when I was in a produce co-op a few years ago and it was so helpful.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
Wash the lettuce completely. Then lay each piece of lettuce out on the paper towels, right next to each other in a line.

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
Then roll up the lettuce in your Bounty Paper Towels. Once it's totally rolled up, store in a zip-top bag. You can pull out a few clean leaves at a time as you need them. This is a great way to make sure your lettuce never goes bad too quickly.

A couple of my other favorite Turkey Day Hacks?
Use a moist Bounty paper towel over a bowl of hard brown sugar, then microwave to soften the brown sugar. You can also place cooked bacon on Bounty paper towels to soak up the excess grease...perfect for use in your casseroles and other dishes with bacon. 

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | Perfect healthy AND delicious dish for your holiday dinners.
What is YOUR favorite Turkey Day Hack?





16 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic! I need to add it to lunch menus. I'm always trying to find great salads for work. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This salad will not disappoint! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

      Delete
  2. YUM!! This salad sounds so refreshing and is wonderfully fall-themed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathy! It is a fall favorite for sure! xoxo

      Delete
  3. Oh. My. Gosh. What an awesome kitchen hack! I always hate that our lettuce usually goes bad before we get a chance to finish it. I will have to try your paper towel trick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you learned something new!! It has saved many a head of lettuce at my house...and it's nice that it's prepped and ready to go! Thank you bunches for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. That salad looks fantastic! I would love to serve it for Thanksgiving or anytime :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lydia! It is such a versatile dish...It really is wonderful anytime!

      Delete
  5. That salad looks absolutely awesome!!!! This flavor combo is so refreshing and as I usually say Salads have no season, I could have this one all year long! Yummm

    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Camila! One of my favorite things about it is that it really is perfect any time of the year! Thank you bunches for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Ooh! I love salads! This looks like an amazing combination of flavors!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kristi, this is my kind of salad! I'm in charge of the salad for Thanksgiving this year and this may just be the one. Thanks for sharing.

    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love salads like this! My family won't eat blue cheese, but I am going to make this for lunch for some friends! I ADORE blue cheese.

    ReplyDelete