Pear Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad 1This recipe is part of the Thanksgiving series 2013.  For more info on that series, you can check it out here.  Though this recipe is perfection for Thanksgiving (or any holiday), it would be super awesome any time.

I really enjoy salads on Thanksgiving, but like to keep them lighter so I don’t fill up before the rest of the meal.  It’s all about a food strategy and pacing myself on Thanksgiving.  So this one keeps it really light but still super flavorful.  When I made this we had it for lunch and it was awesome.  I was still able to get up and dance around the kitchen while I cleaned up.  That’s always a mark of a good salad in my book.

My tips and tricks used in this recipe:

  • Kale doesn’t get soggy like other lettuces, so leftovers will be a-ok for tomorrow.  Which is my favorite.
  • Grating the shallot into the vinegar gets a lovely flavor but the vinegar takes some of the bite out of it
  • White balsamic is a bit lighter and sweeter than the “normal” stuff, and it compliments fruit really well
  • You can make this vegan by leaving out the blue cheese, it would still be a tasty salad
  • Some of the flavors of the meal are highlighted in this salad with the pecans, and shallots, so it is a great compliment to start or as a lighter side

Health highlight of kale: There is a nutrition rating system that was created by a doctor called the ANDI system that rates foods based on how rich a food is in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients per calorie. This system gives the highest possible score awarded (1,000) to only 2 foods: kale and collard greens. While some believe the system is flawed, it does certainly demonstrate the nutritional significance of kale. Kale is high in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and supports the body’s detoxification. The nutrients in kale are associated with cardiovascular health, reduced risk of cancer, and reduced risk of other age related diseases.   It is a good source of iron and calcium, and can aid digestion.  The growing popularity of this veggie is well deserved with all this healthy stuff packed in there!

Pear Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad 2

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 (as a side)
 
Ingredients
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ small Shallot
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons EV Olive Oil
  • Pepper (to taste)
Salad
  • 10 oz Baby Kale (feel free to sub in any lettuce you like)
  • ½ cup Crumbled Blue Cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 Pears (chopped)
  • ½ cup Pecans (chopped and toasted)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the white balsamic vinegar
  2. Grate the shallot into the vinegar (I start with a whole shallot and grate half of it in there, and save the other half for another recipe)
  3. Add the sea salt and oil, and whisk to combine
  4. Add the kale, blue cheese, and pecans into the bowl
  5. Toss to combine

 

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