Monday, October 11, 2010

Roasted Pear, Cheddar, and Walnut Salad in Apple Cider Dressing

Did you all have a nice long weekend?  My husband and I had a great trip to Upstate New York!  The drive was beautiful, with all of the leaves changing color.  We had plenty of time to relax and be away from computers and work, and also plenty to do! 
We stopped by Indian Ladder Farm, in Altamont, NY, where I used to go apple picking as a child.  Sadly, they weren't doing pick-your-own yesterday, so I didn't bring back any apples.  But they did have loads of beautiful squash.  I bought a white pumpkin, my very first!  It looks great in the apartment.  Can you cook with white pumpkin just the same as you do with orange one?  I am getting a little attached to this guy; he's rather cute.  Nevertheless, I am curious.  You can't save a pumpkin forever!
Once we got home this afternoon, it was great to have a salad as a light supper, especially after indulging a little more than usual (cider doughnuts were involved).  This one packs in many of my favorite fall flavors: sweet roasted pears, sharp cheddar, toasted walnuts, and fresh greens, under a sweet and tangy cider dressing.  I rounded this out for a meal with some garlic-Parmesan biscuits.  It would be a great starter salad too, though.

Roasted Pear, Cheddar, and Walnut Salad in Apple Cider Dressing
adapted from The Way We Cook by Julie Riven and Sheryl Julian
serves 3 as a main course, 6 as a starter


2 firm pears, such as Bosc
1 head red- or green-leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2-4 ounces sharp Cheddar (to taste), cut into 1/4 inch cube
1/4 cup apple cider
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 Tbsp honey.

1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Slice the pears (not peeled) in half.  Use a paring knife to remove the core and stem.  Cut into 1/8 inch slices.  Spread out on a baking sheet, prepared with Pam spray.  Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until slightly browned on the edges.
3. To prepare the dressing, combine the cider, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil well.  Add in the honey, and whisk thoroughly to emulsify.
4. Arrange the greens in shallow bowls, topped with the nuts.  Arrange a few slices of roasted pears on each salad.  Drizzle a little dressing over the top, and then scatter the cheddar to taste over each salad.


  1. So those biscuits and this salad sound like a perfect weekday meal! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip (but I'm sorry you weren't able to pick any apples!) The squash you found are beautiful though, and hopefully you'll be able to find some apples elsewhere. Thank you for sharing love!

  2. I love the flavors you included in this salad. I eat mainly salads during weekdays. I am going to try this one as well.

  3. I love using warm roasted vegetables (or in this case, fruit!) on a salad. It's great contrast and when it wilts the spinach ever so slightly it's just perfect. The dressing sounds delicious too! Glad you had a nice long weekend.

  4. Your salad sounds so tasty! I bet those roasted pears are really good in it. I don't know much about white pumpkins. Other than they're pretty!

  5. This looks amazing! I'll be trying it soon.