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Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta

Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta
Here is a nice light dinner to give you a break from all those calorie laden heavy fall dishes. The produce aisles at the supermarket are filled with pears. They are in season and best of all, on sale. For this simple salad, I just used bagged spring mix greens, roasted walnuts, fresh pears and feta cheese. I have always loved pears, but earlier in my life, I didn’t realize how versatile they actually were. When I was a kid, my grandmother had a large pear tree in her backyard that produced more pears than our family and our neighborhood could eat. She let them ripen on the tree and quickly gathered them up as they fell to the ground. Tree ripened pears are very soft and full of flavor. If you have never had one, they could almost seem rotten in comparison to a pear bought in the grocery store. I never even knew, until after leaving home, that store bought pears were almost as crisp as an apple. I have learned to love the versatility of a crisper pear. The pears in the grocery store are picked green, and then allowed to ripen. While tree ripened soft pears can really only be enjoyed fresh, in desserts or preserves, pears picked green and then allowed to ripen slowly are much more firm and can be enjoyed in many more recipes and salads such as this one.

Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta Recipe

Ingredients
1 bag spring mix salad
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
freshly cracked pepper

Method
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on single layer in a baking sheet. Roast for 10 – 12 minutes, or until just fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.

2.  Add spring mix to a large bowl. Top with thinly sliced pears, feta cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Toss salad to incorporate all ingredients.

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