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Pear and Blue Cheese-Walnut Salad

  • Servings: 8

Crunchy-sweet sugared nuts star in this fruit-cheese salad side dish. Cooked together in a skillet, the sugar caramelizes and combines with the margarine or butter to coat and lightly toast the walnuts. Transfer the sugared nuts to a buttered, aluminum foil-lined baking sheet that's waiting to the side. After cooled, it's easy to lift the aluminum foil and remove the hardened nuts, breaking them into clusters. The aluminum foil-lined baking sheet saves you time, too. No need to soak any caramelized sugar off the pan, just toss the aluminum foil.

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  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium pears
  • Mixed salad greens
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 1/3 cup pear nectar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Aluminum foil


Step 1

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Butter the aluminum foil; set aside. In a heavy 10-inch skillet combine walnuts, sugar, and margarine or butter. Cook over medium-high heat, shaking skillet occasionally until sugar begins to melt. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low and cook until sugar is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour onto aluminum foil on baking sheet. Cool completely. Break into clusters. Set aside.

Step 2

In a screw-top jar combine vinegar, oil, pear nectar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well to mix. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake before serving.

Step 3

Halve and core pears. Thinly slice pears; brush with lemon juice to prevent browning. (This may be done up to 1 hour ahead.)

Step 4

To arrange salads, line plates with salad greens. Fan pear slices atop each serving. Sprinkle with some crumbled cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette (reserve the rest for another use). Makes 8 side-dish servings.

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