Friday, October 19, 2012

Candied Pecan & Pear Salad

With Summertime trying to make itself a distant memory we all need to start focusing on what to eat during Fall, so that by the time Winter is here, we haven’t gained any unwanted weight or bad habits in the kitchen. The best way to avoid putting on any superfluous pounds is to incorporate a few salads into your routine that aren’t packed with horrible ingredients. Keeping things simple and healthy over the next few months is crucial for people who live in areas where once the cold weather hits, there is no chance to get outside and work out. The Candied Pecans are the perfect blend of crunchy sweetness that this salad needs to keep it from being mundane.
Set your weekend off right and give this healthy, delicious salad a try tonight.

Candied pecans:
2 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS packed light brown sugar
½ cup raw pecans

Maple-balsamic dressing:
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 head endive, separated leaves
2 hearts frisee lettuce, hand torn
1 large radicchio, torn leaves
1 red pear, sliced
¼ cup shaved Parmesan

To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat.
Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute.
Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper (use 2 forks to separate pecans) while you prepare the salad.
Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify.
Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Assemble salad by tossing greens and pear slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing.
Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.

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