MESCLUN SALAD WITH BOSC PEARS, PECANS, AND BLUE CHEESE
All Natural Diabetes Cookbook
by Jackie Newgent
This perky salad is loaded with plenty of health-protective antioxidants from fresh fruit and nuts. Its pureed pear dressing is thick, tangy, and pink. No worries, guys will love it, too—pink dressing and all.
Serves 4, serving size: 2 1/2 cups
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 1/2 Tbsp canola or flaxseed oil
• 2 medium Bosc pears, cored (divided use)
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (divided use)
• 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
• 1/4 tsp ground cayenne red pepper
• 8 oz mesclun mix or mixed baby greens
• 1 cup seedless red grapes
• 2 Tbsp finely crumbled Artisanal blue or Maytag blue cheese
• 2 Tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts, pan-toasted
1. Puree the vinegar, oil, half a pear (sliced), 1/4 cup onion, salt, and red pepper in a blender until smooth.
2. Just before serving, thinly slice the remaining pears. In a large bowl, toss the mesclun, grapes, pears, and remaining onion with the dressing. Arrange on salad plates. Sprinkle with cheese and pecans.
Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat; 190 calories, 84 calories from fat, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 27 g total carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 17 g sugars, 4 g protein.
When you use a sharp, full-flavored cheese, you don't need much. In this recipe, try Artisanal Great Hill Blue. It's piquant and pairs perfectly with pears and pecans. In fact, a little bit of high-flavored, full-fat cheese will be more satisfying than a lot of flavor-lacking, low-fat cheese. And when you just use a few crumbles of it, the recipe's total fat and saturated fat counts can still fit easily into nutritional guidelines for people with diabetes.
Go for extra nuttiness by using pecan oil in place of part or all of the canola or peanut oil. And whichever oil you choose to use in the recipe, consider serving the dressing on the side. That's so its lovely pink color is in the spotlight-and so everyone can add his or her desired amount. This salad is so tasty as it is, you might decide you want to enjoy it with less dressing, not more.