Autumn Salads are my favorites, loaded with fall fruits (apples and pears), cheese, and nuts, they are the perfect mixture of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy.
Pears and red grapes taste sinfully delicious with blue cheese. They are one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. The saltier the blue cheese, the better.
I tend to put very little dressing on this salad. There is already so much flavor coming from the fruit, the pungent blue cheese, and the spicy-sweet pecans.
I typically use Bartlett pears. They are readily available and always juicy and sweet. The trick is to use them at just the right ripeness and it takes some practice to recognize when they are to the point that they are full of juice and sweet like candy, but haven’t ripened to the degree that their texture turns to mush.
The first time I added red grapes to a green salad, I thought it was a little strange and they’d taste out of place. But now they are one of my absolute favorite salad ingredients.
Autumn Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Spicy Pecans
- 6 cups mixed field greens
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 pear, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup red grapes, sliced in half
- 1/3 cup spicy pecans
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups pecan halves or pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- For pecans- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg white and salt in a medium bowl until frothy. Add remaining ingredients, tossing to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for so to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- For Vinaigrette- Combine all ingredients except oil and whisk until sugar dissolves. Gradually add oil while whisking.