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This is one of those salads that looks so classy, but only takes a few short minutes to throw together.
Make a big bowl to bring to a gathering, or a small bowl for your lunch, either way, the bowl will be empty quick!
The subtle sweetness of the pear, paired with the tanginess of the onions and vinaigrette, its just perfect.
I like to make this salad with homemade balsamic dressing, I normally just toss the balsamic vinegar, herbs, and oil right in. If you need a little more structured of a recipe, check out my Simple Single Serving Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe, it only has 5 ingredients and takes 5 minutes!
Lets talk ingredients…
- Romaine Lettuce
I use WHOLE leaves for this, not just a romaine heart. I love using whole leaves because you get the soft dark outer tips, along with the light and crunchy inner bits.
You can use baby spinach or regular spinach, they will both work fine. If the leaves are too big, you might chop them in half so they don’t take over your bowl
- Red Cabbage
Slice it SUPER thin, long thin slivers is key here
I buy whole mushrooms and slice them myself, I feel they are more dry if I buy them presliced
I use slicing tomatoes, not roma, I think they are more flavorful, especially if they are very ripe. Make sure your knife is nice and sharp!
Choose a pear that is not too hard, and not too soft. You want a nice soft bite, but a little bit of crunch too.
Sharp Cheddar is my favorite, but this would be great with Monterey Jack too! I like to cut little cubes, but shredded could work in a pinch. (Even better if you shred it yourself)
- Red Onion
As with the cabbage, you want THIN slivers with the onion. Translucent slices are going to add a great bite, but not be overwhelming.
Walnut Pieces that are pre-crushed make this quick and easy
When making this salad, I like to first add the greens and cabbage and onion, and toss to combine.
Then, I add half of the remaining ingredients and toss, and sprinkle or arrange the remaining ingredients on the very top to make it look perfect.
Lets talk about storing your salad.
Does your salad get soggy and gross after being in the fridge, even only after 1 day?
I know how to fix that problem!
Don’t put the dressing on the entire salad unless you plan to eat it ALL! and DON’T put an airtight lid on it!
Putting a lid on a salad traps in all the moisture and makes it soggy and mushy.
When you buy lettuce, have you ever noticed the bag sometimes has little holes in it?
It needs to breathe!
What I like to do is cover my salad bowl with cheessecloth. I made a special cheesecloth cover by cutting out a huge circle and sewing elastic around the edge.
But don’t use cheesecloth you get from a store like walmart, it is too looesly woven and will let in too much air.
THIS is the exact cheesecloth I use, and it is PERFECT. It has a tight weave that also makes it perfect for homemade yogurt straining. It is unbleached cotton and it comes in a 5 yard roll. There is lots, it will last you a long time.
It sews well and keeps my salads fresh!
I use Food Huggers to cover my small pitchers and cups, they are the perfect size and can gently conform to the shape of the pitcher spout.
That’s all my notes, lets get cooking!
Effortlessly Classy Walnut Pear Balsamic Salad
- 6 Cups Romaine Lettuce Chopped
- 4 Cups Spinach Leaves (Chopped if too large)
- 1 Cup Red Cabbage Slivered
- 1/4 Cup Red Onion Slivered
- 1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese Cubed
- 1 1/2 Cups Tomatoes Sliced
- 1 Cup Pear Cut into Matchsticks
- 1/2 Cup Walnut Pieces
- Balsamic Vinaigrette To Taste
- Chop the Romaine and Spinach, and toss in a bowl. Sliver the cabbage and onion, as well as slicing the mushrooms, and toss to combine.
- Cube the cheese, slice the tomatoes, and matchstick the pears. Add half of each to the bowl, and toss to combine. Set aside the other half of each to garnish on top later.
- Add half of the walnuts to the bowl, and toss to combine. Then, sprinkle the rest of the walnuts on top.
- Sprinkle, spread, or arrange the remaining cheese, tomatoes, and pears on top of the salad.
- Serve with Balsamic vinaigrette.
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