Pear Salad with Blue Cheese & Sweet Spicy Nuts
This month I am doing a series of connections through food. I signed up for this challenge to blog every day in October about how food helps us connect, but I made no plan how I was going to go about it. I have found so many connections through food that I just trusted this would happen. Like it did when I started this blog. Or actually, even before I started it.
So today’s connection was just a little freaky.
I had seen a great post from Cookie & Kate on Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts, and shared it on facebook and we had exchanged a few comments about the walnuts and what other great combinations you could make with them.
So this walnut salad idea was forming in my head … and I looked back at her recipe and realized it only takes a few minutes to make these nuts … I could do this for lunch! HA!
I went into the kitchen, made these lovely nuts, threw together the salad of my daydreams, made some cheesy basil/garlic toast to compliment the sweet salad, took some pics, and went back to work. As I was munching on my salad and cheesy garlic toast, I popped into my personal page on facebook to see what my friends were up to.
And my friend Russ had just posted this picture: (BTW, in case you are wondering, yes, he gave me permission to post the picture.)
“Open faced chicken panini and salad. 7 points Ciabatta 1/2 roll, sliced grilled chicken, tomato, low fat feta and mozzarella, drops of Tuscan herb olive oil, toasted. Mixed greens with low fat Italian dressing topped with a few sugar roasted walnuts.”
I looked at what he was eating, I looked at what I was eating (at the very same moment in time) and it just seemed like one of those freaky Zen moments when you both are doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time in completely different places. I know his lunch is not EXACTLY like mine, but my gosh look it’s the same greens! and my cheesy garlic toast was on a toasted bun almost exactly like his. (Sorry I have no photo of the garlic toast … I only pic’d the salad.)
If it weren’t for Russ, I wouldn’t even be food blogging! I got started with taking pictures of my food because Russ pushed me to. A long time ago, I went to college with Russ and we have since re-connected on Facebook. He recently started a new initiative to eat healthier, and as part of that, he started posting pictures of the food he is eating every day. Russ is a genius with food presentation and since I’m a total foodie, every time I saw a Russ food pic, I commented. And since I was constantly sharing descriptions of the food I was eating, Russ started asking for pictures. And so I started taking pictures.
Until eventually (with a little encouragement from a few other friends) I got up the courage to start a food blog … that’s how Sumptuous Spoonfuls was born. My friends helped me pick out a name for it. It went through several mutations before I finally settled on Sumptuous Spoonfuls. One of my other friends had suggested Scrumptious Spoonfuls (or Sporkfuls! for fun), but then I think it was Russ who said Sumptuous would work too. And I like how it sounds together.
Oh yes, back to the salad! I had been dreaming of a beautiful pear, blue cheese, and toasted spicy sweet nuts. The only question was what dressing to use with it? I considered a yogurt dressing, but since I was in a rush, I went with something I already had made: my Kickin Berry Vinaigrette. A creamy blue cheese might be nice with this too.
There is another story too about the Spicy Nuts part, but I think I will need to save that for another day.
Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Sweet & Spicy Walnuts
- Mixed (organic!) salad greens
- Chopped red onion
- One red ripe pear, sliced, seeded, and cut into chunks
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Sweet & spicy toasted walnuts (recipe at Cookie & Kate)
- Kicking Berry Vinaigrette dressing (or other dressing of your choice–recipe is at the end of my Berry Salad post)
- Fill your salad bowl mostly full with greens.
- Top with onion, blue cheese and pear chunks.
- Toss a few toasted sweet & spicy nuts on top.
- Drizzle the lovely dressing over.
- Serve with a savory toasted cheesy garlicky bread thing to offset the sweetness of the salad. With or without meat.