This holiday, before the family indulges in the feast you’ve prepared, why not start off with a healthy and delicious salad? How does a baby blue salad with fresh pears, juicy strawberries and sweet and spicy pecans sound? This holiday salad is equally beautiful, nutritious, and tasty. You’re family and friends are sure to be impressed when they see this dish on the table. The crisp salad greens showered with pears, strawberries, pecans, and blue cheese crumbles and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette will definitely get their mouths watering!
Baby Blue Salad with Fresh Pears and Sweet and Spicy Pecans
Adapted from Southern Living Cookbook
For the Salad:
2 (5-oz) packages gourmet mixed salad greens
2 large Bartlett pears, cut into thin slices
1 qt. strawberries, quartered
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup pecan halves
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup olive oil
Prepare the Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and warm water until sugar dissolves. Add pecans, and soak 10 minutes. Drain, discarding syrup. Combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, chili powder, and red pepper. Add pecans, tossing to coat. Place pecans on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake pecans at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once after 5 minutes.
Prepare the Balsamic Vinaigrette. Whisk together the first 7 ingredients until blended. Gradually add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended.
Assemble the salad by placing the greens on 8 individual serving plates. Top with pears and strawberries. Sprinkle with blue cheese and pecans. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.
This holiday salad will help balance the 4,500 calories the average person consumes on Thanksgiving Day(Calorie Control Council). Believe it or not, the bulk of those calories, 3,000 to be precise, come solely from Thanksgiving dinner! If you are trying to watch your weight this holiday but still satisfy your taste buds, go ahead and help yourself to a second plate of this baby blue salad with fresh pears and sweet and spicy pecans, at least it should help reduce your guilt when you cut that second piece of pumpkin pie.
This gorgeous baby blue salad with fresh pears and sweet and spicy pecans was crafted by the skilled hands of Lynne Morris, a professional food stylist for 9 years who has worked with companies including Kroger, Procter & Gamble, John Morrell and HoneyBaked Ham just to name a few. View more of Lynne’s creations.
The individual responsible for bringing Lynne’s handiwork to life is Larry White. He has been a professional food photographer for 15 years and has also worked for many of the who’s who in the industry. Learn more about Larry and his impressive work.