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Fall Harvest Pear Salad

This salad is one of my favorite cold weather comfort salad.  I love delicious new tastes of fall, it is a salty sweet fun. Spice roasted butternut squash, juicy pears, buttery pecans, salty blue cheese, dried cherries, and pomegranate seeds mingle together in an easy Maple-Cider vinaigrette. It is perfect for the thanksgiving table too.

2-4 ripe pears (comice or anjou)
1/2 cup whole pecans
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
4 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
1 pomegranate, seeds removed (optional)
1/4 cup mild blue cheese (Amish Blue or Stella) (optional)
1 box heirloom lettuces or other delicate leaf lettuce (delicate mixed greens better than romaine or iceberg)
Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Turn oven to 400.
Place butternut squash on rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, spices, salt, and pepper.
Roast 10 minutes, or until squash pieces are mostly tender.
Stir the squash around and add the pecans to the sheet.
Roast another 5 minutes, until pecans are fragrant and squash is cooked through.
Meanwhile make the dressing,
and prepare the other ingredients by slicing the pears, crumbling the cheese, and removing the seeds from the pomegranate fruit.
Toss lettuce with 3/4 of dressing and a sprinkle of salt.
Place a pear in the center of the salad and slightly fan out the layers. Drizzle a small amount of dressing over the top of the pear.
Nestle warm butternut squash, toasty whole pecans, large chunks of cheese, pomegranate seeds, and dried berries decoratively around the pear and over the lettuce. Serve immediately.

Dressing – Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup (1 tablespoon tastes good if you are watching sugar but 2 gives more maple flavor)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in a small glass jar (I like jam jars) with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

recepie from jessie monds

Thanksgiving Pear Salad