Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Harvest Dinner: Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Would you like to come with me to an amazing virtual dinner party? 

You don't have to bring a thing, except for a bunch of pins for your Pinterest boards. Trust me, you'll need them.

The 2013 Fall Harvest Dinner Party is happening right now! You must check it out. It's being hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Eileen from The Joy Of Caking, and I am thrilled that she invited me!

Eileen asked a few of us bloggers to prepare something to bring to her virtual dinner party...a cocktail, an appetizer, dessert...she even asked someone to set the table! There is a list of what everyone is making at the end of this post.

As much as I begged her to let me wash the dishes, she would have none of that, and asked me to bring the salad.  

I couldn't very well rip open a bag of triple pre-washed iceberg lettuce and call it a day, so I thought about what kind of salad would get me really excited if I were to order one in a restaurant. I came up with...


I  love something sweet in my salad, and pears are a perfect choice for a fall harvest meal. Although this salad would be good with uncooked pears, I want this to be special, because...

...well, because Very Important Guests are attending this dinner --YOU! -- and I want it to be extra special.

In my opinion, there's only one thing better than roasted vegetables, and that is roasted fruit. In a salad, a sweet fruit is a perfect companion to a savory entree, such as Crusted Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chicken.

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I searched around for roasted pear recipes, and eventually settled on an adapted version of Roasted Pear and Shallot Salad...by, ahem, Martha Stewart.

I KNOW, I KNOW! My timing couldn't be worse, given the recent brouhaha caused by her recent quote about bloggers.  But, I honestly did prepare this post a good month before Martha talked about "those bloggers...who are "writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done." 

 Alrighty, then. That's sort of what I did. I adapted a really good editor's recipe...in this case, hers...and guess what? IT'S REALLY GOOD. If you want to make Martha's unadulterated recipe, click here. There is no doubt that it is excellent. If you want to make one by a blogger who is not a trained editor at Vogue, and is not an expert, make mine. It's excellent, too :)


Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
SOME NOTES ABOUT THE RECIPE:
  • The original recipe called for Frisee and Belgian Endive for the greens, but I substituted a mix of greens (I used Earthbound Farms Organic Spring Mix), since I'm not a frisee fan. 
  • I  used White Balsamic Vinegar instead of Sherry.
  • I used roasted pecans instead of walnuts. 
  • I did not serve the roasted shallots with the salad. 
  • I added gorganzola and craisins. 
  • About the dressing: Add the dressing just before serving, so the greens don't wilt. Use it sparingly on the greens. Use only enough to lightly coat the greens. It has a lot of flavor and a little goes a long way. The last thing you want is for the salad to be dripping in dressing.  
All I can say is YUM.  This is one of the best salads I've ever had, if I do say so myself. 


Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's also very colorful, and will look fantastic on your dinner table.


Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Roasted Pear & Shallot Salad with Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Honey
5 tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar (divided)
5 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
Coarse Salt and freshly ground Pepper
3 ripe but firm Bosc Pears, cored, each cut into eighths (unpeeled)
8 Shallots, halved lengthwise if large
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup Water
5 ounce package Organic Spring Greens
1/2 cup Gorganzola, crumbled
3/4 cup Pecans (3 ounces), toasted
Half cup Craisins (optional)
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange pears and shallots in a single layer in a small roasting pan; pour honey mixture on top, and toss well to coat. 

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Cook until pears and shallots are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, 3 tablespoons oil, and mustard; season with salt and pepper.

Remove roasted pears and shallots from roasting pan. Place pan over high heat; add the water, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon, until liquid is reduced by half. Whisk mixture into vinaigrette.

Place greens in a large bowl; only use enough vinaigrette to lightly coat greens. 
Divide among plates, and arrange pears, pecans, gorganzola and craisins on top.

Serves 6. 

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
If you clicked over from The Joy Of Caking because you have already finished your cocktails and appetizers, then I thank you for stopping here at Ms.Toody Goo Shoes!

And if I am the first course you are sampling at this dinner party, please make sure you go back to The Joy Of Caking's Fall Harvest Dinner, and check out the other courses and beautiful tablescape in this amazing meal which was put together by a bunch of talented bloggers!

Festive Fall Table: Sandra from Sweet Sensations
Apple Pie Cocktail With a Twist: Terra from Café Terra

Eggplant Caviar:  Dionne from Try Anything Once
Goat Cheese with Herbs de Provence:  Monet from Anecdotes and Apple Cores
Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette: Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel:  Jeanne from   InsideNanaBread’s Head

Crusted Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chicken: Eileen from The Joy of Caking 
Pumpkin Challah: Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Onion Rolls: Denise and Sharon from BeBetsy 
Cinnamon Applesauce Tart: Anne from From My Sweet Heart

Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


























Bon Appetit!




58 comments:

  1. This looks so filling and delicious Amy! Ms. Martha would surely be green with envy over this one. I'll keep hoping that one day we can all meet for a real dinner, anytime of the year.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! It could definitely be a meal, especially with a little leftover turkey thrown in! Loved your table setting...it was great to collaborate with you and the others, and yes, let's hope that a real dinner is in our future!

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  2. Oh Amy how beautiful. Yes, Martha should be crying at your feet! :) Like Sandra - we would love to get together with all you lovelies for a dinner! All the best ~ Sharon AND Denise (it says Sharon but D is here too!)

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    1. Thank you, Sharon and Denise, I think Martha might actually enjoy this one. Your onion rolls look amazing! Cheers, to a real dinner together!

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  3. Oh, yeah! I'd definitely order this at a restaurant! And your additions of gorgonzola and craisins are perfect! So fun to be at the table with you tonight. The menu looks divine!!!

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    1. Thanks, Liz...I enjoyed being a part of this dinner party with such a talented bunch of ladies...,and, OH, THAT CHALLAH!!!

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  4. Martha who?? We all know her employees are doing all the work while she just stands in front of the camera trying to convince us otherwise. I challenge (old) Martha to do what we do all by herself. Brainstorm her next post, buy her own groceries, prepare her own dish, wash her own dishes, photograph the dish, edit the photo's, write and publish the post, and personally take the time to answer emails and comments she receives.

    With that said, you did a beautiful job making this salad Amy. I love the combination of flavors and I really wish we were all sitting down together to eat it. Thanks so much for helping host this great meal!

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    1. Eileen, I cannot thank you enough for inviting me! It was great fun being part of this group effort, and I love the post you put together. I'm looking forward to your chicken recipe tomorrow. Someday, maybe, we will all break bread together!

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  5. Amy....what a gorgeous, gorgeous salad! I love fruit in my salad. But roasted pears AND gorgonzola are just sublime! And I will trust YOUR version any day! So glad to have been a part of this special dinner with you. (And if you offered to wash.....I'll dry!) Thanks for a scrumptious salad! : )

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    1. Thanks, Anne! I really enjoyed being a part of this terrific dinner party, and getting to know all of you. OK, bring your dish towel...and some of that amazing applesauce tart!

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  6. Oh, Amy... you have NO IDEA how much I love this salad! As I scrolled through each progressive photo, I was squealing. "I love pears!" "I love dried cranberries!" "Ooo! I love gorgonzola!" Seriously, it was embarrassing. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous salad. I'm making this one pronto!

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    1. Glad I got you excited, Jeanne! And, if it makes you feel better, my reaction to your sweet potato dish was equally exuberant (and embarrassing!). So glad to have "met" you!

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  7. Gosh, that looks good! I love tasty pretty salads. I love vinagrette's too. Oh and sprinkled cheese. Now, you'll have to come over and check out my dish that I shared today too! We're both in the kitchen today.

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  8. I threw together a salad very similar just recently. I used to not even like pears and now I am grilling them and eating them on salads. Yum.

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    1. Glad you changed your mind about pears! Aren't the awesome grilled, roasted, whatever?

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  9. Pears are my favourite autumn fruits and I'm having my parents for lunch tomorrow. I've already decided on the dessert and the main course, now I know what my salad will me. Thanks! I just need to add the cheese on my already long shopping list. Thanks a lot!

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    1. Glad to help, Magali! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your parents!

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  10. Looks wonderful ! I missed out on Martha Trashing Blogland ha ha but I enjoyed the update and your take on it and the salad !: )

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  11. That salad looks so delish and so much better than Miss Thang's (aka Martha) salad. :-)

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    1. It's a meal, Beth! The one thing that would make me NOT order a salad is if it is frissee based. So I had to modify it :)

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  12. Hi and wow this salad looks so amazing and I bet is delicious! I would love to try this for the holidays. TFS and I saw it on simple & sweet fridays party.
    Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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    1. I can promise you, Julie, that it is delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. This looks amazing! I have to pin it!! I can't wait to try it. I've had a similar salad at restaurants but have never made it at home. And I am beyond excited because we just had an oil and vinegar shop open up downtown, where I can get wonderful gourmet oil and vinegars!

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    1. I'm glad you're going to try it, Michelle! It will not disappoint! Just remember to use the dressing sparingly. Ooooh, I would love to have an oil and vinegar shop near me...the closest thing we have is Fairway, which does have a huge variety, but not as much fun as browsing in a small shop. Thanks for pinning!

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  14. This sounds so good. I am a huge salad eater, thanks so much for the recipe!!

    Cynthia

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  15. Oh my, you had my attention with those pears but shallots too?? I love this salad and I don't mind where you got the inspiration. :-) So no judgement from me ever. Besides, she said all that but her actions prove that she does value bloggers so while it's contradicting, I think she really does value people like you that show us the good in the recipes that have her name on it. I mean, you've given me a reason to roast pear and shallots together! I never would have thought to do that on my own. Thank you for sharing this at the Fall Harvest Dinner! I hope you are having a good week.

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    1. The flavor that the shallots add is really what sets this apart. I hope you enjoy it, Dionne! Great collaborating with you!

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  16. Oh Amy - that looks soooooo good! Gotta try roasting pears.

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    1. It's soooo good, Rosella. Roasting the pears with the shallots is really what makes this so tasty! Enjoy!

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  17. This looks amazing! I've never roasted pears before, but I can't wait to try it!

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    1. Try it, Yvonne! I hope you love it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. this looks great! Love how you roasted the pears. This would be perfect on a fancy dinner menu for sure

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    1. Thanks, Daniela! It's really easy, but it does look fancy!

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  19. This is a beautiful salad, Amy. I think it would be spectacular at Thanksgiving Day dinner. I've pinned it to use then.

    I missed out on Martha's comment! Wow, how terribly...snobby! Somebody please send her a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. I don't guess it would bother her that I just broke down and subscribed to her mag again after 5 years and the first issue was in yesterday's mail. I found it, well, boring. Now I remembered why I let my subscription lapse.

    She has no idea the fun we bloggers have. Like the virtual dinner party you're in. I'll check the other part of the menu out!

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    1. Thanks for pinning it, Dewena! We bloggers do have fun, don't we? Hope you enjoyed the rest of the Fall Harvest dinner party!

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  20. I love meeting new to me food bloggers, Eileen rocks for bringing us all together! I love adapting recipes, so who cares what Martha said.....she is just jealous of all of us:-) This recipe sounds wonderful, perfect for the virtual dinner! I love the idea of roasting the pears with shallots, so delicious! Hugs, Terra

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    1. Hi Terra, yes, I agree -- it is great that Eileen organized the dinner, and that we all met new bloggers in the process. As for the salad, the roasted shallots give the pears the most amazing flavor!

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  21. What a gorgeous salad :) Can't wait to go check out all the other recipes people made. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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    1. Hi Ali, it's pretty and it tastes good, too! Hope you enjoyed the rest of the recipes.

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    1. Amy,

      You have managed to delight all our senses today!! Your food styling and photography are pure eye candy. Your description, full of asides, tidbits and the latest scoop, is music to our ears and ultimately, all of these things combined, whet our appetite and make our mouths water with anticipation of the actual event, which is, to get that sweet and savoury and smartly dressed salad on to our palate, (pronto!), to indulge in and appreciate, and thank our lucky stars for creative bloggers like yourself, who just HAPPEN to be amazingly creative in the culinary arts!!

      (Martha, if you see this, perhaps you should take a hint and stick to tasting your expert editors' triple tested recipes before putting your foot in your mouth...once again!)

      xo
      Poppy :)

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    2. Poppy, your comments are as poetic as your posts! Thank you for your lovely compliments!

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  23. Oh this sounds so good. Thanks tons for the recipe. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that will be live today at 2:30 PT. www.astrollthrulife.net Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

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    1. Hi Marty, I'm going to head over to the party right now! Thanks!

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  24. You've been featured this week on BeBetsy at the BRAG ABOUT IT No. 27

    Thanks for linking up with us. Have a fun HALLOWEEN!

    Sharon and Denise ♥
    http://bebetsy.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Sharon and Denise! It was great to be part of the Harvest Dinner with you!

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  25. Oh, my goodness - this sounds fantastic - full of flavor! I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  26. Happily featuring your delish salad at Tickled Pink Times Two this week. Thanks for linking up! Make it a pink day :)

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  27. What a wonderful and delicious salad! I love fruit in my salad and I am confident I would love this salad! Thanks for sharing at Four Seasons Blog Hop~

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  28. This looks delicious - Dearest loves pears - I'll be looking for the ingredients to try this for him! I appreciate you sharing your lovely post with A Return to Loveliness,
    Kathy

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  29. Woot! You have been featured this week at Recipe Sharing Monday! The new link party is up and I'd love to see you back. Have a great week. :)

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  30. I love the concept of roasting pears for a salad - and the other ingredients go so well with pears. Thanks for stopping by our Happy Holidays Link Party - be sure to join us again this week (beginning on Saturday at 7 pm ET) and every week through the holidays.

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