(I had these type of thoughts for approximately 5 minutes before starting to fantasize about food again..)
But in the following weeks before we sit down again for a family binge-eating session (Christmas), we might want to consider eating a little lighter to off-set the inevitable excess of calories coming our way.
This pear salad with blue cheese and hazelnuts is my idea of “eating light.” It’s refreshing and lightly dressed, but has just a few crumbles of Point Reyes Blue Cheese to make you feel like you’re still indulging just a little bit.
And if you don’t decide to have this during detox-week, it certainly is delicious and refined enough to make an appearance on the Christmas table.
Now to talk about my Thanksgiving- we actually didn’t do a turkey this year. (I know, I know… basically food blogger sacrilege). We decided, instead, to meet up as a family in Key West. For those of you who don’t know- my family is spread out all over the country. My parents are in Michigan, my brother is in Chicago, my sister is in Houston, and Dave and I are in San Diego. And I have to say..it’s a little rough for us in the South to head back to the Mitten this time of year.
So instead, Key West called our name- we rented 2 cottages that were sparsely equipped with kitchen supplies, so we knew right off the bat that Thanksgiving Dinner was out. (I did manage to scrape together a home-made brunch on Thanksgiving, which made those of us craving some home-cooked food happy).
Luckily this salad is available…
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, roughly torn
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese (I used Point Reyes)
- ½ cup peeled hazelnuts, toasted
- 1 ripe Anjou pear, cored, and sliced thinly.
- ½ shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the shallot, apricot jam, rice wine vinegar, and olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Set aside. (Gets better the longer the shallots have to soak in the vinaigrette).
- Meanwhile roast your hazelnuts - bake for about 13 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until richly toasted.
- In a large salad bowl toss the greens with the dressing until dressed to your liking.
- Plate the salads by arranging lettuce onto 4 plates and dividing the pear slices, blue cheese, and hazelnuts evenly between the plates.
- Serve immediately.