Spinach, Pear & Almond Salad
Caramelized almonds add a sweet nutty crunch to this spinach-pear salad.
20 min.prep time
30 min.total time
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
2 medium (3 cups) pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (6-ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach or mixed lettuce greens
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot*
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Melt butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add almonds and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 4-5 minutes or until sugar melts and nuts are golden brown. (Watch closely to prevent burning.) Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Quickly spread onto waxed paper; cool completely. Break clusters of nuts into pieces.
Place all salad ingredients in large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine all salad dressing ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.
*Substitute 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion.
- Almonds brown quickly even after cooking if left in warm skillet. Therefore, it is important to cool them immediately on waxed paper.
- Instead of caramelizing the almonds, try toasting them. To toast almonds, spread evenly in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350ºF., stirring once, 5-7 minutes or until light areas of almonds begin to brown.
- For a time-saving method, substitute your favorite prepared salad dressing.
Instead of caramelizing the almonds, try toasting them. To toast almonds, place onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake in 325°F. oven, stirring halfway through, 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.