Stinky Cheese & Pear Salad

Seriously, this salad. You should make it. It’s a beautiful combination of textures and flavours, with a touch of luxury.

Stopped by the Strathcona Market on Saturday to grab some ingredients for a dinner party salad that I was bringing. Was initially thinking about some kind of corn salad, but the pears at Steve and Dan’s were looking so damn good, and the lettuce from Doef’s Greenhouse is always a hit (plus it lasts forever with the roots attached). The inspiration went from there, and as I already had avocado at home,  I just needed to grab some pecans to candy.

In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.

Salad

2 heads of your lettuce of choice (rip it apart with your hands!)
3 pears – peeled, cored and chopped
5 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
4 thinly sliced green onions

Candied Pecans
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup pecans

Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/8tsp Xanthan Gum*

For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.

In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.

 

*Side note. Xanthan Gum is a great binder, so if you need to make a dressing in advance, you can add the tiniest amount to keep your dressing from breaking. It’s magic.

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