Thursday, March 13, 2014

Maple Poached Pear Salad with Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese

Mixed greens paired with a maple poached pear, blueberries, walnut crusted goat cheese and drizzled with a maple poppy seed dressing.

Hun... What's for Dinner?: Mixed greens paired with a maple poached pear, blueberries, walnut crusted goat cheese and drizzled with a maple poppy seed dressing.

Last summer, Queenie and I had our very first Mommy Daughter day, while Hubby and Mr.B spent the day golfing. We started the day off with a pedicure and then went out to lunch at a small locally owned restaurant. Queenie surprised me and ordered a potato rosemary soup as a starter, and fish and chips for her entree. I happened to see a wonderful salad that caught my eye. The description said it was served with a poached pear, blueberries and walnut crusted goat cheese. I knew right away that I had to try this salad. Ever since that day, I've been telling myself that I needed to recreate it, here at home.

When my blogging friends decided to share recipes using naturally green ingredients, for the month of March, I knew I wanted to recreate this salad for the round up. Plus, my Mom was coming to visit in March and I knew she would also like this salad. So, this past weekend I made my version of this magnificent salad. Mom and Hubby loved the salad. The kids weren't adventurous enough to try the pears, dressing, or goat cheese. They had the greens with their favourite dressing and the berries as dessert. Boy they sure don't know what they were missing. The crisp greens paired perfectly with the sweet and tart maple poppy seed dressing. The creamy goat cheese, is crusted with nutty golden walnuts, the blueberries are like sweet bursts of freshness and the tender sweet pear ties everything together. A beautifully elegant salad, this will make people think they are dinning in a 4 star restaurant.

Hun... What's for Dinner?: Mixed greens paired with a maple poached pear, blueberries, walnut crusted goat cheese and drizzled with a maple poppy seed dressing.

Maple Poached Pear Salad with Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese

1- 5oz container of spring mix salad greens
1 cucumber thinly sliced lengthwise (I used my spiral slicer)
1 pint fresh blueberries
1- 8oz log of goat cheese
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 C walnuts, finely chopped
2 pears peeled, cored and cut in half
1/2 C pure amber maple syrup
1 C water

Maple Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 C pure amber maple syrup
1/4 C water
2 tsp corn starch
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seed

Rinse and dry the spring mix. Set aside.

Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Cut the goat cheese into 8 half inch slices and drizzle with olive oil. Press into chopped walnuts and place into the hot skillet. Cook until walnuts begin to brown slightly; 3-5 minutes. Remove from skillet and let cool while preparing the dressing.

In a small sauce pan, bring the 1/2 C maple syrup and 1 C water to a boil. Add in pears, cut side up and simmer until tender; 3-5 minutes. Thinly slice each pear half, lengthwise, leaving slices attached at the stem end.

In a food processor, combine the 1/3 C maple syrup, 1/4 C water, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar and salt. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat, until mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Stir in poppy seeds and pour into a bowl. Place into the freezer to cool.

To assemble the salad, place a generous handful of spring mix onto the plate. Wrap two thin slices of cucumber around the lettuce. Sprinkle with blueberries and drizzle with maple poppy seed dressing. Place two slices of goat cheese onto the salad. Using a spatula, gently place one sliced pear onto the plate, next to the salad. Gently press on the pear, to fan out the slices. Serve immediately

Makes 4 servings

Check out the other fabulous recipes in the Celebrating Spring and Welcoming Spring series!

Pistachio Blueberry Cupcakes from Baking In A Tornado
Key Lime Chiffon Cake from Crumbs in my Mustachio
Asian Salad with Chicken from Tampa Cake Girl
Roast Tomato Spinach Foccacia with Parm from Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom
Lox Me Up and Throw Away the Key from Moore or Less Cooking Blog
Maple Poached Pear Salad with Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese- ME

This recipe is being shared at these AWESOME linky parties


Libby with Lemony Thyme said...

This salad sounds so wonderful. I can see why it's stayed with you. Can't wait to try it.

Karen @ Baking In A Tornado said...

I can see why you loved this salad and wanted to recreate it. It looks delicious. Pinned it.

Tampa Cake Girl said...

This beautiful salad looks so yummy. I can't wait to make it!

R.Kirk Moore artist said...

I am just going to drool all day looking at your salad. So happy to feature you at Moore Or Less Cooking , torturous but oh- so- good! Nettie

Sandi said...

This salad looks delicious. Thank you for creating this recipe. I am trying it this weekend.

Laurie Alves said...

Love this Post! Beautiful Recipe! Stopping by from the Whisk and Sift Linky Party!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Cindy,
What a beautiful salad, I love this kind of salad. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Ya and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday!
Come Back Soon,
Miz Helen

Miz Helen said...

Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
Miz Helen

Joanne T Ferguson said...

Congrats Cindy on also being featured in Deanna's Olive and Grapevine Salad Newsletter this week!
GREAT salad! Cheers! Joanne