Ok, I’ll admit it. There have been very few restaurants in Pittsburgh that have inspired me to recreate a dish I have ordered. I can see the hate mail filling my inbox now. You see. It’s not that I think Pittsburgh restaurants are bad…I just haven’t been inspired by the ones I’ve tried. An exception has been a similar salad I ordered at a fancy downtown restaurant a few weeks ago. I loved how the crisp sweet pears balanced perfectly against the punch of bleu cheese, and the lettuce perfectly tossed with maple vinaigrette.
In order to properly recapture the true essence of my pear salad experience, I had to turn to my maple guru for just the right recipe. Since Kevin from Closet Cooking lives in Canada, I knew he would be no stranger to the maple syrup experience. Sure enough, I found the perfect Maple Dijon Vinaigrette recipe for my Saturday Dinner Party. Thank you Kevin for making my guests squeal like a pig in the mud.
- 1 (9 oz.) package spring mix greens, prewashed
- 2 peeled pears, cored and sliced
- 1 Tbl. lemon juice
- 2 oz. bleu cheese, crumbled
- 2/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced thin (optional)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbl. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbl. garlic, minced
- pepper to taste
- To prep the pears: Gently toss the sliced pears with the lemon juice until all cut sides are coated. Set aside.
- To prepare the dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients until well emulsified. The dressing should be a light yellow color. Keep vinaigrette chilled in the refrigerator until ready to toss with the greens.
- To assemble the salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss a small amount of the vinaigrette with the greens until the leaves are lightly coated. Add additional vinaigrette if needed. Pour the coated greens into a serving bowl. Evenly distribute the pears, blue cheese and toasted pecans across the top of the salad.