Friday, January 27, 2012

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese and Roasted Pear Salad

Through the years, I've played around with different ingredients in salads to suit our tastes. Sometimes I'll try to copy a salad from a restaurant, and other times-I just use what we have on hand in our refrigerator.

This salad is an adaptation of a salad we used to have when we lived in Memphis. Paulette's had the most wonderful mixed greens salad with fried pecan-crusted goat cheese. I'm trying to eat healthier, so I coated the goat cheese in toasted pecans and skipped the frying. The roasted pears in this salad come from a recipe I made up many years ago that has cornbread croutons, bacon, spinach, and roasted pears.

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese and Roasted Pear Salad

  • Your choice of greens. I used an organic spinach salad blend.
  • Thinly sliced purple onion
  • A couple of slices of pan-fried bacon, crumbled
  • About a 1/4 cup pecans
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 small log of good quality goat cheese
  • Girard's Champagne Dressing (available in most grocery stores)
  • 1 ripe pear for each salad
  • Brown sugar or honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lightly spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add pecans. Toast the pecans for 3-6 minutes, flipping often to avoid burning.
  • Let pecans cool and pulse them finely in a food processor. Set aside.
  • Slice the goat cheese log into approximately 1/2 inch slices. If the goat cheese crumbles, don't sweat it. You can easily reshape the slices.

  • Lightly salt and pepper one side of the goat cheese. Press the pecan pieces onto each side. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Place parchment paper or a Silpat pad on a baking sheet. 
  • Peel pears and cut into wedges. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and turn over pears with a spatula. 
  • Lightly sprinkle pears with brown sugar or drizzle with honey. 
  • Return to oven and bake 5-7 minutes or until sugar starts to caramelize a bit. Be careful. These can burn easily once the sugar is on them.

  • In individual salad bowls, add spinach mix.
  • Add crumbled bacon, purple onion, pears, and 2-3 goat cheese slices.
  • Add salt and fresh cracked pepper if desired and drizzle champagne dressing onto finished salad.

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Oh girl!! This is speaking my language! I LOVE goat cheese on salads! I usually cheat and buy the apple cheddar bagged salad kit. I toss the cheddar that comes in it and use the apple vinaigrette, add goat cheese and golden raisins. I am definitely going to try this one!!