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Pear, Blue Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad

Pear, blue cheese and candied pecan salad is an elegant accompaniment to any main dish

Happy 2013 all you lovely Table for Two readers!! Are you ready to start writing “2013″ on things? I’m probably still going to flub until April or something and continue to write 2012, haha

I hope you had wonderful festivities this holiday season and got to eat to your heart’s content! I rang in the new year this year in style – my friends and I partied like it was the 1920′s! The 20′s is one of my favorite eras – not sure why, but I really dig the flapper outfits and the headbands. I also LOVE The Great Gatsby so maybe that played a part in my love for the 20′s.

Let me preface this post with: DON’T ROLL YOUR EYES AT ME. I know you’re seeing a salad on the 2nd day of January and I know you’re probably thinking I’m *trying* to make this all healthy because of everyone’s new year’s resolutions. Well, I’m NOT. I’m partially sharing this because I made it over a month ago and it just happened to get scheduled today and also partially sharing it because I know some of you really do want to make a salad after all the massive intake of sweets & greasy foods over the holidays. So..yeah.

The reason why I made this was because I had it at Nordstrom Cafe while on a shopping trip with my friend and fell in love with it and HAD to find a way to recreate it at home. I was determined to remake it at home because of how AMAZING it is. It has pears in it, which gave it the ultimate sweet/salty combination and the spicy candied pecans were another great addition to the layers of flavors in this salad. Jason shoveled this salad in his mouth. He declared it “one of the best salads” and that’s a huge statement for a salad.

If you do make a salad this week, you should add this to your list. It’s a keeper and the dressing goes a long way and you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING.


Pear, Blue Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Entree, Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 large salads
 
Ingredients:
  • For the salad:
  • 10 oz. bag of mesclun greens
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped into 2" cubes
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • ⅔ cup maple candied pecans
  • For the maple candied pecans:
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • For the champagne vinaigrette:
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup champagne wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
Instructions:
  1. To make the candied pecans, in a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter then add in maple syrup and pepper. Add in the pecans and toss to coat. Cook for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally so it doesn't burn. Once finished, pour onto an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and set aside to cool.
  2. In a mason jar, combine all the ingredients of the champagne vinaigrette & shake to combine everything.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, including the now cooled pecans. Pour salad dressing over top (as much as you'd like) and toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. The salad dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It'll separate if it's been sitting a while. Just bring it to room temperature and shake to mix it all up again for use.
  6. If you have leftover pecans, store in an airtight container.
Notes:
Source: adapted from Creative Culinary

 

44 COMMENTS

  1. 01/02/2013 at 7:58 am

    Sounds like you had a great nye! This salad looks delicious (regardless if your trying to eat healthy or not)!

  2. 01/02/2013 at 9:00 am

    My mom makes a salad very similar to this and it is one of my favorite salads-such a great flavor combination! Happy New Year Julie!

  3. 01/02/2013 at 9:10 am

    Now this is reaaalllllly miy kinda salad!! Happy New Year!

  4. 01/02/2013 at 9:10 am

    This salad does look lovely…I wish I could get myself into that salad routine. I like to eat healthy with lots of sugar on the side :-)

  5. 01/02/2013 at 9:44 am

    I love Nordstroms Cafe! It’s the best kept secret in my opinion. This salad looks amazing and so refreshing. Can’t wait to dig in!

  6. 01/02/2013 at 9:56 am

    Oh yum! Blue cheese and candied pecans are my favorite salad toppings ever!

  7. 01/02/2013 at 9:58 am

    This is definitely one of my favourite winter salads!

  8. 01/02/2013 at 10:14 am

    The perfect New Year New You salad!!

  9. 01/02/2013 at 10:23 am

    I feel like I don’t even know you anymore… a salad?! ;)

  10. 01/02/2013 at 10:32 am

    Great looking salad for the start of a new year Julie! Love it :)

  11. 01/02/2013 at 10:53 am

    I could eat this salad every day!

  12. 01/02/2013 at 10:59 am

    Julie, how did you know this is my favorite salad EVER?! When I worked in the mall, I’d race across it to try to make it to the Nordstrom Cafe in time to get this salad! And whenever we go out to eat, if there’s a comparable salad on the menu with pears, blue cheese and pecans, I ORDER IT. My favorite in all the land and this looks PERFECT. Plus, hello maple pecans? Amazing.

  13. 01/02/2013 at 11:08 am

    Let’s make a salad and shopping date asap! This salad looks dreamy, Julie! I like.

  14. 01/02/2013 at 12:08 pm

    What a stunner! A great way to kick off a healthy new year. :)

  15. 01/02/2013 at 12:10 pm

    Such a great mix of ingredients – this looks amazing!

  16. 01/02/2013 at 12:16 pm

    I love salads loaded with juicy toppings! There’s nothing worse than choking down a plate full of greens. I eat the greens first so I can end with shoveling spoonfuls of the topping in my mouth. Classy, right?

    Happy New Year!

  17. 01/02/2013 at 12:36 pm

    I love this! It reminds me of a salad I had in Napa, and of course, anything that reminds me of Napa makes me happy :)

  18. 01/02/2013 at 12:49 pm

    What a cute idea for a New Years Party! I love the 20′s too. THis salad looks just beautiful. I love all of the colors, flavors and textures!

  19. 01/02/2013 at 1:08 pm

    This looks incredible. I want this salad for dinner, like every night! :)

  20. Suzanne
    01/02/2013 at 1:27 pm

    Happy New Year – this salad looks amazing and decadent! Can`t wait to try.

  21. 01/02/2013 at 2:50 pm

    Such a delicious salad to start the year with! Happy new year Julie, I know 2013 is going to be such an exciting year for you!!

  22. 01/02/2013 at 3:26 pm

    This looks awesome Julie! Healthy, but not TOO healthy :) I love me some candied pecans!

  23. 01/02/2013 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for reminding me how simple yet delicious a salad can be. A great meal to start 2013 off on the right foot!

  24. 01/02/2013 at 5:01 pm

    LOVE this salad!! Anything with blue cheese and candied nuts is a winner!

  25. 01/02/2013 at 5:13 pm

    This is such a gorgeous, fresh and crisp salad! I love how healthy it is and perfect timing for everyone’s new years resolution to eat healthy. I bet it’s filling, too with the pecans and blue cheese! Yum!

  26. 01/02/2013 at 7:22 pm

    Stuuuuning! I love recreating salads from amazing restaurants. The pecans – love!!

  27. 01/02/2013 at 7:31 pm

    Yessssssssssssssseysyeyseyeyseyes.

    Yes.

    Yes.

  28. 01/02/2013 at 8:41 pm

    I would be more than happy to gobble up this salad! The dressing sounds amazing!
    Happy New Year

  29. 01/02/2013 at 8:47 pm

    I love this salad, the flavors together are perfection!

  30. 01/02/2013 at 9:16 pm

    I would never roll my eyes at you. I posted a salad recipe on January 1st! Plus, this looks amazing!

  31. Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations
    01/02/2013 at 10:49 pm

    I totally dont mind seeing salad these days and yours looks fantastic. I love salads with fruity and nutty additions :D

  32. 01/02/2013 at 10:55 pm

    Looks great, Julie! Happy happy new year!

  33. 01/03/2013 at 12:43 am

    Those pecans are perfection… wait… this salad is perfection! LOVE!

  34. 01/03/2013 at 5:27 am

    Happy New Year Julie! What a fantastic post to start the year off right. I am a huge sucker for creative little salads and blue cheese/pear is such a fantastic combination!! I’ve had a salad like this before with apple, but pear is a clever little change of pace – I need to try this! And I am a huge sucker for candied pecans. :)

  35. 01/03/2013 at 8:29 am

    Oh my gosh Julie – you just helped solve my problem! I’m having guests for dinner and wanted to start with a fancy salad – this will be perfect – thanks!

  36. 01/03/2013 at 11:45 am

    I love a simple, lovely salad.

  37. 01/03/2013 at 11:59 am

    This is my favorite kind of salad…it has all of the elements! I always love the contrast of sharp blue cheese, juicy pears and sweet pecans…yum!!

  38. 01/03/2013 at 4:54 pm

    I love every little thing that’s in this salad!

  39. 01/03/2013 at 8:22 pm

    Oh yes – this is so awesome. Pear and blue cheese, plus pecan – what else should I ask? :) Happy New Year, Julie!

  40. 01/03/2013 at 8:46 pm

    I like starting the new year with salads too…it’s a balance after all the junk I ate over the holidays! Love the candied pecans in this one :)

  41. 01/03/2013 at 10:45 pm

    I need a detox and I think this is totally up my post-holiday food alley!

  42. 01/05/2013 at 11:23 pm

    ooo i love that you have onions with this salad. love the contrast with the sweet pecans. noms

  43. 01/07/2013 at 5:43 pm

    Lovely salad! One of my favorites!

  44. 01/09/2013 at 1:43 pm

    The 20′s is one of my favorite era’s too! I dont know why, considering the great depression was right after it and all, but cant help myself ;) Your party sounds like it was a ton of fun, and you looked adorable in the outfits you showed! This salad looks seriously awesome. I love the candied pecans and pears. I think I do need a little bit of this in my life after all the holiday eating…

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