High Fructose Corn Syrup, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Monosodium Glutamate, Sulfites, Maltodextrin....
Eeewwww. Seems like that kind of cancels out the benefit of eating a healthy salad...
Don't get me wrong: I posted my Zesty Chicken recipe the other day which features regular-smegular salad dressing as a main ingredient. It wasn't organic or even 100% natural. In a perfect world, I'd buy everything organic and local and such. But this isn't a perfect world, and sometimes we have to take what we can get.
Or do we?
Neither did I.
Until the other day...
A friend gave me about 20 beautiful, perfectly ripe organic pears on Friday. (She also gave me a large bag of organic yellow onions. I made French Onion soup; I will post that deliciousness later...) I've made a pear cobbler, baked pears, eaten them raw with goat cheese, etc. But I also wanted to feature them in something savory and autumnal.
Enter pear-spinach salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette.
Now don't start giving me the stink eye because that sounds too fancy.
It was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. Children were even consuming it. Raw spinach + kids? Now that's an equation worth pursuing!
Although present in this dressing, the maple syrup does not scream "THERE'S MAPLE SYRUP IN HERE!" You can barely taste it. Mostly it just calms down the obnoxious balsamic vinegar.
I think I'll also try it as a marinade for chicken or pork.
Here's a little trick on how to make the pear slices pretty: use a melon-baller to remove the seeds and core.
This series of photo taken by Chris
Spinach Pear Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4 shiny, happy people
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup almonds (or you can substitute pecans or walnuts)
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 of a small shallot, finely sliced into rings
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or substitute grapeseed oil)
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or substitute honey)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 generous handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 pear, thinly sliced