Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pear & Hazelnut Salad with Creamy Cranberry Dressing

After consuming 2 entire bowls of this salad, I've decided that change is good.

Of course, I've come to this conclusion after only 1 day of this new lifestyle change, but so far, it's good. REAL GOOD.

My photography skills are another matter altogether, so I'll just clarify right now that this is not ketchup, cottage cheese, and leftover greens.

This in fact, is pure bliss.

Salad bliss.

This salad is fairly easy to put together, but if you purchase hazelnuts still in the shell like I did, you'll need to skin the nuts first. (See below.) If hazelnuts aren't your thing, try substituting walnuts or pecans instead. Which is what I ended up doing since somebody used up all the hazelnuts in some chocolate chips cookies without letting me know.

Somehow the cookies got past me too.☺

This recipe was adapted from the book, "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook".

~The Players~

1 head of leaf lettuce (I used romaine.)
1 firm ripe pear, cored and sliced thin (Do not peel!)
1/4 red onion, sliced thin in rounds (I cut them smaller.)
1 cup raw hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 t. plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (Found next to the fresh garlic or onions in the produce dept.)
1 cup fresh cranberries (I used frozen, but let them thaw in a colander.)
zest from 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tb. balsamic vinegar
3-4 Tb. maple syrup (Grade B)
1/2 t. sea salt

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and sliced shallots. Saute' shallots for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add cranberries and continue to saute' until berries are soft and have "popped."

Place shallot & cranberry mixture into food processor or blender with the orange juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, zest, maple syrup, and sea salt. Blend on high until creamy. Add a few tablespoons of water for a thinner consistency and blend again. (I skipped this step.)

Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. Extra dressing can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

~Skinning & Roasting Hazelnuts~

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place shelled nuts on cookie sheet. Roast for 10-12 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times during cooking time.

Pour the nuts into the center of a clean towel. Gather the edges of the towel to bundle the nuts up and rub the nuts against each other inside the towel for quite a while until the skins come off.

Now get to crackin'!



MamaTea said...

Looks great! You always have fabulous looking recipes. :)

Candy C. said...

Sounds really good! I think I'd go with the pecans though, too much work for the hazlenuts! LOL!!