Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pecans & Pear wedge salad

My twist on the classic wedge salad with a perfect gourmet combination of pears and pecans!
There's just something about the combination of pear and blue cheese! It may sound weird to those who are more conservative when it comes to their meals but it's actually delicious! It's like they were made for each other! Also, pecan and pears are a great pair of flavor and texture. Imagine all this together in one delicious, refreshing, fulfilling crunchy salad!
You HAVE to try it!
For 2 portions
1 Iceberg and/or butter lettuce
a handful of mixed leaves for garnishing (optional)
1 red pear, washed and sliced thinly, skin on
1/4 Red onion, diced
1/4 cup Pecans, crumbled
1/3 cup Reduced fat crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Light sour cream
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. Bacon bits 
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. milk
Juice of 1 lemon 
2 twists on your grinder of dry garlic flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the salad
1. Dip the iceberg lettuce cut in half (burned, dirty and old leaves removed) into an iodine or chlorine solution (1 Tbsp. for every gallon of water) and let it soak for 30 minutes. Once done, rinse with cold water and use a salad spinner to remove all excess water. In the meantime, prepare the salad and dressing.
2. Dice as small as you can 1/4 of a red onion and set on a cup, bowl or jar. Boil a cup of water and pour into the diced onion letting it sit for at least 5 minutes before draining. (that will remove any strong odor/flavor in it)
3. Mix sour cream, water, lemon juice, milk olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently incorporate the cheese crumbles in it. 
4. Put some mixed leaves in 2 plates. Put half of an iceberg lettuce on each and top with the onions and dressing. Sprinkle bacon bits, pecans and the sliced pear.

- Slice your pear right before serving. If you must make ahead, pour some freshly squeezed lemon juice coating all slices to prevent from darkening.
- Sour cream can be replaced with plain greek or regular yogurt.
- Trying to watch your weight? Reduce the amount of fat in the dressing by not adding olive oil to it, use fat free sour cream and half of the amount of pecans replace all the blue cheese by 2 Tbsp of the reduced fat blue cheese + 2 Tbsp. fat free feta. The blue cheese flavor always wins, so you won't notice the swap! Once your salad is done, add a few drops of olive oil just for the flavor without all the calories. 
- Dressing can be stored for up to 48 hours in the fridge, in a jar or tupperware.
- Don't have pears or don't like them? Try quartered figs or even apples (pink lady or fuji)
- Use a small jar to add all the dressing ingredients. Put the lid on, shake it and you're good to go! 

No more excuses not to take a salad for lunch to work!

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