Friday, April 13, 2012

Paul's Favorite Salad

As I have alluded to in previous posts, my husband is not a salad lover. He bemoans the fact that I make him eat one for nearly every meal. It's not that he truly hates eating salad; He just hates that the salad fills him up before he can completely gorge himself on the main course. He oftentimes will eat the main course first, ignoring his salad completely, before complaining about being "too full" to finish the salad. And, as if he were three years old, I make him sit there until he can muster up enough gumption to finish the loathed greenery. I half expect him to point an accusing finger at young Matthew, nibbling happily away on Macaroni and Cheese in his high chair, and whine: "How come HE doesn't have to eat any?!"

However, this salad, which I served as part of our Easter feast, changed everything. Paul enjoyed not one, not two, but THREE servings of this salad on Easter Sunday. He declared it his favorite part of the meal. As we were cleaning up after dinner, Paul scooped the leftover salad fixings into a Tupperware container, declaring: "Now THAT was a good salad!"

Pretty high praise coming from that guy.

Pear and Pistachio Salad with Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

For the Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette:
1 medium shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup canola oil

For the Salad:
8-10 ounces mixed greens (we love Arugula and Spinach)
2-3 cups red grapes, halved
2 pears, diced small
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shelled salted, roasted pistachios
2-3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients except the oil into a blender and mix until the shallot and garlic clove are completely broken down and everything is blended. Scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary. With the blender running, slowly stream in the oil and continue to mix until completely emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Toss the salad greens with the grapes, pears and cranberries. Toss with just enough dressing to coat and then scatter the cheese and nuts on top. Serve!

This makes 10 side servings and about 4 main-dish servings. Unless of course, everyone has as many portions as Paul - then you might need more salad!

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