Recipe: Pear & walnut salad

Pear and walnut salad

There’s something so pleasing about a light summer salad. I love this pear & walnut combination which features a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette based on a recipe by my mom. It’s healthy and provides the perfect starter for a summer barbecue – and pairs beautifully with white wine. (Anything that goes with wine is good in my books!) While the presentation for this salad is so lovely, you can make it in under 10 minutes… so why save it for a special occasion?

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings):

  • 1 pear
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Arugula
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. For the dressing, mix together olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and honey in a bowl. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice and a dash salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Skin the pear and use a paring knife to cut off fine shavings.
  3. On top of arugula, sprinkle the pear shavings, goat’s cheese and walnuts.
  4. Drizzle dressing over top shortly before serving.

Pear and walnut salad

This is a lovely side salad for the summer (we had it with beef tenderloin, potato salad and green beans over the weekend) but could also be a satisfying main course. Try it served with our honey dijon chicken on top – the dijon mustard in both recipes makes them a great pairing. Happy cooking!

Pear and walnut salad

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Recipe: Strawberry quinoa salad

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Spring is here and with that comes my unabashed desire to do/eat/wear all things spring-y. Since it’s still chilly in Toronto and I can’t bust out my adorable new pink pants, I’ll settle for something else colourful instead: strawberries.

Strawberry quinoa salad is one of my favourite things to make when I feel like something light but filling. It’s healthy and features such a nice balance of sweet and creamy, thanks to a combination of the berries and goat’s cheese. Layer the whole thing over spinach and drizzle on some balsamic dressing – and you’ve got yourself a quick weeknight dinner (oh, and don’t forget to save some leftovers for lunch!)

Strawberry quinoa salad

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2  strawberries
  • 1 tsp (4ml) balsamic vinaigrette
  • Crumbled goat’s cheese

Directions

    1.  First off, feel free to switch up the amounts in this recipe – they’re a rough estimate, and it really depends on the ratio of cheese/strawberries/dressing you prefer.
    2. Start off by cooking the quinoa. (You can follow these good tips to ensure it’s fluffy and not overcooked.)
    3. Wash and chop the strawberries.
    4. Wash the spinach.
    5. Put the whole thing together – for a nice presentation, lay the spinach down first, then the quinoa, then the strawberries. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top and drizzle on dressing right before you’re ready to eat. And voila! A quick and healthy dinner, if you pre-cook the quinoa in advance.

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