Goat Cheese Pear Salad

Salads. No cookbook or food blog can be complete without them. (Unless it is a specified book or blog that only features desserts, bread, etc.) Yet I have kept this blog for a year now, and this is my first fresh salad recipe.

It’s not that I don’t eat salads because I do, yet I have an issue about posting the recipes. (I also have an issue about contradicting myself after making a statement because I’ve thought of exceptions that would nullify what I said. For an example, return to the previous paragraph.)

For me, salads are random foods mixed with greens and dressing. I just put lettuce on a plate and rummage through the fridge. Hard-boiled eggs? Great. Sliced olives? Perfect. Sweet potato cubes? Why not. Oh look, we have pumpkin seeds; I’ll sprinkle that on too.

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Therefore, salads come out different lyevery time. Imagine if I made a post about that.

Very Good Salad

Ingredients:

  • Any greens you have
  • Any dressing you like
  • Whatever looks good and is passably healthy

Directions:

  1. Put the greens in the bowl.
  2. Put the rest of the stuff on that.
  3. Pour the dressing thing on that.
  4. Mix, toss, or stir that.
  5. Eat.

Well, I guess I did just make a post about those salads… Oh well, two recipes in one post! Isn’t this your lucky day!

So after all of that salad-recipe trashing, what makes this featured dish so special?

Excellent question, random person. I’m so glad you asked.

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Here’s the test whether or not to post a recipe: I ask myself, “Will I make this again?”

If I didn’t love the dish, the answer would be no, and I fix the recipe or ditch it. If the answer is yes, I shoot it (with a camera), write it up, and post it for the world to see (also for myself to use, because an original recipe scribbled on a sticky note gets lost very easily. …There I go again with finding contradictions with my statements. I will close this parenthesis now.)

So when I make this salad, it was good. By ‘good,’ I mean I made it again the next day. And by ‘made it again’ I mean I did not change it. I didn’t search the fridge or the pantry for some additions to enhance this salad. It was already perfectly delicious. Now that I know this method is possible, expect to see more salad recipes in the coming year!

What sets this salad apart from the other random combinations I made is primarily the baked pears. I have never added baked fruit to a salad before (to clarify, I have added raw and dried fruit and those are good too.) Don’t skip baking the pears. The heat makes it soft enough to cut with a fork, and the enhanced sweet taste beautifully compliments with the other flavors in this dish. The smell of pears baking with cinnamon is reason enough to do this.

(Unless you have no sense of smell, in which case, I am so sorry.)

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Goat Cheese Pear Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spinach, packed
  • 2 beets
  • 4 Bartlett pears
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wrap the beets in tin foil and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes until they are easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Allow to cool, then take off the foil, peel the beets, and cut into cubes.
  4. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Wash and cut the pears into long, thin slices. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the slices.
  6. Bake the pears for 20-25 minutes until soft.
  7. Put the spinach into a bowl and add the beets, pears, goat cheese, and walnuts.
  8. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  9. Serve immediately.

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