Beet, Pear & Walnut Salad
Salads are really easy to make. You can pretty much combine anything you like. Within reason of course. I don’t share this is a ‘recipe’ because I don’t think you can figure out how to incorporate the ingredients listed on your own. I share this as I have made salads using this combination of ingredients several times and have found that this is the best tasting method of preparation; in my opinion. You may in fact have an even better version. If so, please do share. In any case, the following directions are shown if you would like to try out my version. This salad can be made as a side dish, as it is shown here, accompanied by maple grilled wild salmon and pesto spiral pasta, but can very easily hold up on its own as a meal.
Ingredients (makes 4 side salads or 2 meal sized salads)
1 cup of sliced red beets, peeled and already cooked tender
1 pear, quartered, cored and each quarter cut into 4 slices (you end up 16 equal sized slices)
1/2 cup unsalted walnut pieces
3-4 cups of salad greens (I used a baby spinach and rocket – arugula – mixture)
1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese
2 tsps. butter
1 tsp. maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste
vinaigrette dressing of choice (I used a simple balsamic)
Melt 1 tsp. butter in a small saucepan. Add walnuts and stir until coated. Toast lightly for a few minutes at medium heat. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Add pear slices and stir until coated with butter. Keep stirring while cooking until the pears are slightly tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Add the remaining 1 tsp. butter to the same pan and melt. Add sliced beets, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Saute until slight caramelization of beets occurs, approximately 5 minutes at medium heat. Transfer to a separate bowl to cool (otherwise, the pears and walnuts will turn pink, which is fine too, if that’s the look you are going for).
When the beets, pears and walnuts have cooled to room temperature, which only takes 5-10 minutes, assemble your salad. Loosely stack your greens on a plate or in a bowl. Divide your warm ingredients equally, on top of the greens. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese on top.
Drizzle with your vinaigrette of choice.