Pear Salad with Toasted Pecan Goat Cheese Rounds and Balsamic Honey Dressing

marydukecooks.com

This is a special fall salad. The roasted pears have a hint of honey butter and melt in your mouth. The salad greens are delicate and should be dressed at the last minute so they won’t wilt. The creamy, warm goat cheese is contrasted by the crunchy, nutty flavor of the toasted pecans. Enjoy!

Pear Salad with Toasted Pecan Goat Cheese Rounds and Balsamic Honey Dressing

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 firm pears (I used Anjou. Love the red color!)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 (4 ounce) log goat cheese
5 ounces baby spring mix 
Craisins 
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread pecans in a single layer in a cake pan. Bake 5 minutes. Remove pecans from pan and place in a bowl to cool. Reserve.

Meanwhile, cut each pear and stem in half lengthwise. Remove core. Keep stem. Place in a 9-inch square baking dish lined with foil for easy cleanup. Set aside. 
Melt butter in microwave oven. Stir in honey.  Spoon honey butter over both sides of pears. Place pears cut side down in prepared pan and bake 25 minutes or until pears are tender. 

While pears are baking, coat goat cheese log with cooled chopped pecans. Cut into 4 discs. (You may have to refrigerate the log briefly to firm it back up before cutting). Save remaining pecans for garnish. Make Balsamic Honey Dressing (see recipe below). Remove pears from oven. Gently turn pears over cut side up. Place 1 goat cheese disc on each pear half. Return to oven 5 minutes to soften and warm cheese. 

To serve: Dress baby spring mix with Balsamic Honey Dressing. Divide salad mix evenly between 4 salad plates. Garnish with reserved pecans and Craisins. Place pear halves on top of salad greens in center of each plate. Tastes like fall!

Balsamic Honey Dressing

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup canola oil

Whisk together all ingredients except oil. Add oil last, pouring in a slow stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.

Published in The News and Neighbor on September 21, 2022.

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