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Green Salad with Pears and Gorgonzola

Green Salad with Pears and Gorgonzola

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes

This salad, filled with the colors and flavors of the season, is not only beautiful to look at but also easy to prepare. It would be a fitting start to any holiday meal, or if topped with cubes of smoked turkey, would make a light meal in and of itself. Make the dressing in advance and toss it just before serving.

by Alison Needham

What you'll need

  • 1 head butter lettuce (or Boston lettuce), cored, washed and dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, or dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans

DRESSING

  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, or red wine or balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup roasted hazelnut oil, or walnut oil or olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper

Notes:

Ingredient Note: Butter lettuce is also frequently called Boston lettuce, and is the same thing. Bibb lettuce is a related, but larger-leafed variety. All three can be recognized by their pale green color, loose, softly-curled leaves, and velvety texture; Pomegranate seeds can frequently be found in your supermarket produce section already-hulled, but if you can't find them, and want to save time, using dried cranberries or dried cherries, or a tart fresh berry like blackberries, would be just as delicious.

How to make it

  1. Toss lettuce, pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola, pears and pecans in a large salad bowl. Set aside and prepare dressing. Alternately, set lettuce leaves on 6 salad plates, and top with pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola, pears and pecans.
  2. Place mustard in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in vinegar, honey and shallot. Slowly drizzle in hazelnut oil, while whisking constantly, to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with half of the dressing (or drizzle over the plated salads). If more dressing is needed, add it a little at a time, taking care not to drench the leaves. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

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