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!