Mixed mesclun greens topped with pear slices, roasted hazelnuts, red onions, spiced pecans, shredded smoked Gouda cheese and feta served with a side of homemade honey poppy seed dressing.
This is The Stuff. The salad that simply says… “more.” It is pure heaven. It has the crunch and the melt-in-your-mouth factor and if I weren’t already a married woman — I’d propose to the silly decadent thing. That’s right… I said it.
- 2 pears – peeled, cored and sliced
- about 8 cups of mixed greens
- 1/4 of a large red onion, sliced
- spiced pecans and/or hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup Gouda cheese, sliced or crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup local honey
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup apple cider or red wine
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated onion
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- a dash of orange juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1.) Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until gently toasted. Remove from oven. And if you’re anything like me… belt out some Maria Callas. Roasted hazelnuts call for opera, folks.
2.) Warm cider on the stove in a saucepan. Remove from heat once it steams. Mix honey, mustard, salt, cider, onion, orange juice, and oil together in a bowl with a whisk. Add poppy seeds stir gently. Maria Callas is my opera hero. I adore her. Want to know why? Listen here.
3.) Wash and dry the greens and pears. Arrange the greens on the salad plates and top with the pear, onion, spiced pecans, still-warm hazelnuts, and cheese. Pour some poppy seed dressing over it and enjoy. No… bask in this elegant indulgence and crank up the aria. Why? Because you’re worth it.
Now, please do not use any of that powdered aspertamed wannabe cider mix. I’m telling you: it’s just not the same. In fact, I would venture to say that cider enthusiasts the world over would gasp and faint at the mere mention of that just-add-water gunk. No sirree. Not in my poppy seed dressing. Go pick on someone else’s poppy seed dressing.
Oh, and the pictorial display is courtesy of Josh’s fancypants camera which I secretly adore. Drat. The secret’s out.