Mixed Green Salad with Pears and Maple Vinaigrette

The perfect salad.

The perfect salad.

Why the heck do salads taste so much better when someone else makes them? Our daughter Emily makes the best salads ever! She added a pear to our dinner salad the other night and it was heavenly! One small addition can be the difference between a fantastic salad and a HO-HUM salad.

I think this is a great time to give some advice. People…Please make your own salad dressings! Store bought is easier and quicker…yes. But quite honestly, it only takes about 2 minutes to whip up your own dressing. Plus, it is so much healthier and far less expensive!

Last night, I decided to use Emily’s pear idea and threw together a delicious autumn salad with a maple vinaigrette to go with the Butternut Squash risotto for dinner.  It was a great addition to the meal! I think the dressing would taste great warm, as well!

Mixed Green Salad with Pears and Maple Vinaigrette

The Salad

8 cups mixed spring greens or lettuces of your choice

2 medium pears, cored and diced

1/2 c. dried cranberries

Pecans or sliced almonds, roasted lightly

Combine the greens, pears, cranberries and nuts.

The Vinaigrette

1/2 cup real maple syrup

4 Tbs balsamic vinegar (good quality)

2 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp sea salt (or any salt)

1/4 tsp freshly ground peper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

In small bowl or small blender, mix all ingredients together until blended. I used my “Magic Bullet” and it worked like a charm!

Add the the Vinaigrette to the salad and combine. Yum.

What do I love about this recipe? I love maple syrup. I love maple syrup in salad dressing. I love maple syrup in salad dressing on pears and greens. Yum.

What don’t I love about this recipe? Nothing. I love it.

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