Here is my favorite salad. When I was pregnant I wanted to eat it every day. Now, I still want to eat it every day. :)
My sister-in-law Allison has made some awesome salads for us at her house, which I've tried to imitate but never with total success. She taught me how to make sugared almonds and also the salad wizardry of fruit + nut + cheese. When I finally tried this dressing recipe I knew my salad dreams were coming true at last! So, this salad can be easily customized with what you have on hand. I tried it with strawberries recently instead of pears, and it was good, and the original recipe calls for bleu cheese and walnuts (that seems to be a common combination of flavors). But I think I love it most with a slightly firm pear, almonds, and salty feta. The dressing is a vinaigrette, not very sweet, but perfectly suited to the whole.
At our house, this salad (with muffins) is a perfectly acceptable summer dinner. Thank goodness!
Pear and feta salad with sugared almonds
Spring mix or similar mix of greens
1/2 c. crumbled feta (or bleu cheese)
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1/2-1 c. sugar
Place almonds in frying pan and sprinkle sugar over the top. Cook over medium heat until sugar starts to melt and caramelize, adding more sugar as needed. Stir almonds frequently to coat with the melted sugar, and remove from heat when sugar turns golden brown. Let cool, then break up into pieces (they will stick together, but they break apart easily).
1/2 c. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. Dijon mustard or ground mustard
1 heaping teaspoon sugar
1/2 t. salt
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Whisk until combined.
Slice pears (long slices look nicer, but I dice them to make them easier for the kids to eat) and place on top of salad greens. Sprinkle with feta and candied almonds, then pour dressing on top.