Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of fruit in salads. I don't go gaga over summer strawberry salads like the rest of the crazed Panera patrons come warm weather, but fall and winter fruits I can actually get behind. I love pears and bleu cheese. I love grapes and bleu cheese. So I figured I might as well give it a go. The salad actually made for a really delicious lunch (shh... pretend I didn't eat it with Doritos), and I absolutely plan to make a larger batch of it again to eat throughout a work week. Also, this dressing was delicious; I really, really loved the combo of the maple and Dijon. If you take nothing else from this post, make the vinaigrette!
P.S. Have you seen these? They are perfect for packed lunches: grapes and dressing in the smaller compartments, salad in the other, then combine at lunch time.
Pear, Grape & Bleu Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Makes enough for several salads
4 T. EVOO
3 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. apple cider vinegar
4 t. pure maple syrup
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Whisk together all ingredients until emulsified. Can be made ahead of time. Serve approximately 2-3 T. per salad, reserve remainder for later use.
Pear, Grape & Bleu Salad
1 large salad serving
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 Bartlett pear, or other variety
10 grapes, halved (approximation, haha, didn't count grapes)
1 oz. Bleu cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup walnut halves, optional
Maple Vinaigrette, see above
Salad can be made ahead of time by combining all ingredients except grapes and vinaigrette. When ready to eat, toss with grapes and vinaigrette.