3 unpeeled Asian pears, cored and thinly sliced
9 cups (or 1 pound bag) spring mix or gourmet lettuce mix
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cups smoked almonds, chopped in large pieces
6 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, gently toss pears, salad mix, blue cheese, onion, and almonds. In a separate bowl, mix orange juice, rice vinegar, and sugar. Whisk in canola oil, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and gently toss; serve immediately.
* Note: if Asian pears are not available, you can substitute fresh peaches, strawberries, or other berries – what ever is in season. Pair this salad with a light crisp wine like a Riesling Spaetlese.
Note: I leave out the raw onions and blue cheese. I serve the almonds on the side because Hubby is allergic. I often just substitute the Asian pear with whatever pears look nice at the store (Asian pears can be hard to find). I also sometimes add Craisins to this. On the dressing I only use a pinch of salt since with 1/4 tsp it comes out too salty for us. In the future I may try substituting the rice vinegar with blood orange vinegar I recently bought. I am thinking that this citrus dressing might also be nice over cooked asparagus.