My husband, daughter and I raise hazelnuts in the Willamette Valley-so this salad is a family favorite. Since our home state of Oregon grows pears and cherries, too, I included them in the recipe I dreamed up. —Karen Kirsch, Saint Paul, Oregon
- 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup chopped red onion, divided
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
- 1 medium pear, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- For dressing, place 1/3 cup hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons onion, water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and paprika in a food processor; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream.
- In a large bowl, combine salad greens and remaining onion; add 1/2 cup dressing and toss to coat. Divide among six salad plates.
- Top each salad with pear, cheese, cherries and remaining hazelnuts; drizzle with the remaining dressing. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Hazelnut and Pear Salad in Country Woman April/May 2009, p34
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