I made this for Thanksgiving to serve along my family’s classic meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, parker house rolls, and corn casserole. This salad has a wonderful blend of sweet and salty. The sweetness comes from the dressing, cranberries, and pears. The salty comes from the nuts and blue cheese. It is beautiful to look at and a great accompaniment to soups, sandwiches, roasts, or chicken. One caveat is that is does take a lot of chopping- hello it’s called a chopped salad. I used to love to chop, but now that I have a numb left hand and an eight month old who likes to ride on the front of my chest in the baby carrier, my family finally stepped in and decided my one handed chopping with a baby on board was not the safest or time efficient way to get the Thanksgiving feast on the table! My brother had to step in and take over the vegetable chopping. So find someone in your family who is wanting to practice their knife skills and serve this at your next family lunch or dinner.
Pear & Cranberry Chopped Salad
1 medium cucumber , peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 medium red bell pepper , seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 ripe but firm pear cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 small minced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 romaine lettuce , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces blue cheese , crumbled
1/2 cup pistachios , toasted and coarsely chopped
- Combine cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 15 minutes.
- Whisk oil and vinegar together in large bowl. Add drained cucumber, bell pepper, pear, onion, and cranberries; toss and let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 5 minutes.
3. Add romaine, blue cheese, and pistachios; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves four. I doubled this for my thanksgiving dinner.
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated