My new favorite side salad: Roasted pear with bleu cheese
My new favorite salad which comprises all necessary elements of a great bowl of the green leafy stuff: sweet, salty and a crunch. The sweetness of a roasted pear combined with the salty and sharp Bleu cheese crumbles and the crunch of cashews all tossed in a tart lemon and thyme dressing. Damn, that’s good and it’s a great way to use up those hard pears that refuse to ripen. You know what I’m talking about. Those pears that stubbornly refuse to soften like a willful child. They are inedible when rock hard but you don’t want them to go to waste. Simply throw them in the oven and roast them to soften up. Now, if you already have ripened pears on hand, then skip this step. Simply cut it up and toss on a pile of leafy greens. To quote Ina Garten, ‘How simple is that?’
Why change it up?
Oh, the untouched dinner salad. The often-overlooked attempt at putting some sort of vegetable matter on the table. Most of the time it is an afterthought, following on to more glamorous main entrees like lasagna, pizza or a roast. How hard could it be after all to just throw together some lettuce, tomato, and cucumber together? You could even try adding some wild and crazy ingredients like the fashionable avocado, chickpeas or quinoa and serve it with a simple balsamic vinaigrette or a pre-made bottled dressing to make it easier. It’s as straightforward as it is forgotten and disappears into the background. I start to yawn just thinking about it. So if you are like me and want something green on the table but more importantly, you want people to consume it, then you’ll need to experiment.
Elevate your side salad with this roasted pear and bleu cheese salad tossed in lemon thyme dressing with roasted cashews for extra crunch. #easy #healthy #salad #dinner #vegetarian
- 1 firm pear (I used Forelle but you can choose whichever is your favorite)
- 1–2 oz Bleu cheese
- a handful of roasted cashews
- 1 med/large head of Butterhead lettuce (or whichever is your favorite)
Lemon Thyme Dressing
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 sprig of thyme (leaves removed and finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1–2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F/220C. Wash pear and roast in the oven for 20 min.
After roasting, remove from oven and wrap in aluminum foil to allow the pear to steam from the inside out.
Meanwhile, wash and dry lettuce.
When the pear is cool to the touch, remove the stem and peel the skin off.
Cut in half and take out the core where the seeds are.
Slice into bite-sized pieces.
Toss dressing over lettuce leaves then top with roasted pear slices, crumbled Bleu cheese and a generous sprinkling of roasted cashews.
Lemon Thyme Dressing
Combine minced garlic, finely chopped thyme leaves, honey and lemon juice together. Slowly whisk in olive oil until thoroughly emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Category: Salad, starter, side, vegetarian
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: salad, lemon, thyme, pear, bleu cheese, cashews, side salad, vegetarian, appetizer, starter