Chicken and Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Nuts
September 1, 2019 | by Carole Davenport
Once in a lifetime comes a truly great salad, and this main course salad is the one for me. The crunch of sugared nuts, juicy bites of crisp pear, and the savor of seasoned chicken that explodes with freshness when mixed with Gorgonzola cheese. What’s not to love?
- 3 heads of Romaine Lettuce, rinsed and drained
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in quarters
- 2 pears (any variety), rinsed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ½ Cup Gorgonzola style Blue Cheese, crumbled
- 1/8 Cup Brown sugar
- 1 Cup slivered almonds or pecan pieces, caramelized and lightly sugared
- 1/2 Cup purple onion, diced
- Balsamic Olive Oil seasoned dressing*
In a heavy bottomed skillet, gently fry the chicken breast. Season with salt, pepper, and a shake or two of ground garlic. Cook until well done. Set aside to cool.
In a large cast iron skillet, slowly melt brown sugar over medium heat. Add your choice of slivered almonds or pecans. Coat the nuts with caramelized sugar. Immediately pour onto a piece of aluminum foil and allow to cool. Spread out, so they don’t clump together.
In large salad serving bowl, tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Add pear pieces, Gorgonzola cheese, onion, and nuts. Cut cooled cooked chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the salad. Gently toss with the salad dressing.
Serve with warmed croissants on the side.
Balsamic Olive Oil Dressing
* 1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 Cup olive oil
* 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
* 1/2 Teaspoon poppy seeds
* 1/4 Cup orange juice
Of course, you will add the standard cookie or two; perhaps applesauce or even apple slices to complete the meal.
Putting together complementary flavors and colors will help your child eat better, as the eye-taste-bud coordination muscles kick in. Start the school year off with some healthy choices in the grocery cart to ensure you’ll have a nice variety of foods on hand to choose from when putting together these lunchbox meals. And while you’re at it, make yourself a healthy sack lunch too!