There's nothing quite like a good salad. My cousin mentioned once that salads almost always taste better at restaurants than when you make them at home. I completely agreed, until I discovered why -- it's all in the toss. You need a big, ole bowl and some sturdy tongs to do it right. Before my discovery, my approach was simple: make my salad, drizzle the dressing on top. This probably isn't news to most of you -- tossing a salad until everything is coated lightly in dressing makes sense, but it was a step I skipped in order to save time, and I thought -- calories. I use the same amount of dressing as I always have, probably one and a half tablespoons for a salad the size of the one pictured above, but now I take that extra step (and often create more dishes for myself to do) and give it a proper toss.
I went grocery shopping last night and noticed some great looking Bartlett pears and this afternoon when I was in my cupboard, I noticed some pignoli's (aka, pine nuts) that I had forgotten about. And from there came my pignoli and pear salad. The dressing below (I LOVE when products are labeled gluten-free, bravo Maple Grove Farms!) is a Ginger Pear dressing made with white balsamic vinegar. I marinated some turkey tenderloin in the dressing for a few hours this morning and grilled them up to serve with the salad.
Pignoli and Pear Salad
1 cup of salad greens (I used spinach and red leaf lettuce)
1 tablespoon toasted pignoli's (simply place in a pan on medium heat and cook for a few minutes until slightly brown)
1/2 bartlett pear, cut into slices
Grilled turkey tenderloin marinated in dressing (optional)
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, plus a few tablespoons of the Maple Grove Ginger Pear dressing. With tongs, thoroughly toss the salad until each piece has been lightly coated with the dressing. Place in a prettier bowl (or eat out of the large one if no one's watching) and eat with a hunk of good bread. I had some Bob's Red Mill Hearty Whole Grain Bread that I baked in the bread maker the night before.