Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentines Day Countdown--Salad

February 14 is just a few days away. Going out for dinner is easy--but it's also expensive, crowded, and stressful. With just a bit of pre-planning, you can make a memorable meal for your loved one.

Here's a suggestion for the first course (salad) that is easy, inexpensive, and tasty:

Mixed Salad with Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts

1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 cups mixed salad greens, or fresh spinach
3 tablespoons vanilla-pear vinaigrette (see below)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

To prepare salad, combine onion and greens/spinach in a large bowl. Add Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette, and toss well. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette
1 (15-ounce) can pear halves in juice, undrained
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of ground red pepper

To prepare dressing, drain pears, reserving 1/3 cup pear juice. Combine pears, juice, vinegar, and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

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