After all the hefty eating surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, greens are a welcome sight. Just something a little lighter than the gobs of leftover stuffing and sweet potatoes we have been indulging with is likely a good thing. Being of Eastern European descent, I can certainly take in my fair share of "stick to your ribs" types of food. It's in my DNA...ha-ha.
Anyway, this salad was super-easy to put together. I had leftover grilled chicken breast from the night before (rotissere chicken would work fine too), I had beautiful Bosc Pears from Harry & David. Speaking of Harry & David, did you win our Harry & David Pear Medley Gift Basket? We have a chosen a winner, go see if it's you. We'll wait.
I also made these candied pistachios. They take only five minutes in the oven and give your salad a crunchy texture with a sweet taste. I'm still craving sweet since, as I mentioned before, I have been overdosing on leftover candied sweet potatoes. It's hard to get off the sugar when you have been reaching into the fridge for days with a spoon, sampling sweet potato goodness. I might need an intervention.
But before we head down a sugary slope, I want you to know I made these pistachios in my toaster oven. I did not have to heat up my giant oven to get this little task done. The toaster oven, which has a convection setting, is ready to go in about 5 minutes. I couldn't live without my toaster oven. You NEED to get one. If you have a regular toaster on the counter, get this instead. It has so many more options and is WAY more versatile. It's likely the most used appliance we have.
So, the dressing I had a little help with...you see, my friends over at Litehouse Foods sent me a little care package after they had seen me wax poetic about their freeze-dried herbs. Let me just say this, I have been using their freeze-dried herbs since the first time I saw them on the shelf. I love, love them. Especially the garlic. They rehydrate quickly and give the best flavor. They are my cooking savior. I can't tell you how much I use and love them. (Grab some the next time you are at the store and let me know what you think.)
So, not only are the Litehouse products awesome, aren't they nice by sending me gobs of my favorite stuff and a few new things to try...like this Pear Gorgonzola Dressing and Gorgonzola Cheese. I had never had this one before...and let's just say...hubba-hubba with a lovely touch of sweet.
And what did I do...I added even more of the Litehouse freeze-dried herbs to the dressing. Giving it a more garlicky-onion flavor...cause' I love that. Isn't it pretty?
A few drops of Gorgonzola goodness on here and wow...heaven on a plate. I guess the non-indulgent eating isn't quite over yet, I suppose it's really just beginning as we head into December. Somehow I'm not sad about that.
Sometimes we need a little help in the kitchen. Knowing I have a yummy dressing waiting for me pushes me to have a salad, which is ultimately a good thing.
Grilled Chicken, Pear, Gorgonzola, Candied Pistachio Salad with Pear Gorgonzola Dressing
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
- 1/2 wedge Litehouse Gorgonzola Cheese
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup Litehouse Pear Gorgonzola Dressing
- 1/2 Tablespoon Litehouse freeze-dried red onion
- 1 teaspoon Litehouse freeze-dried garlic
- 1 teaspoon Litehouse freeze-dried chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss pistachios with sugar and water until the sugar dissolves into a syrupy consistency. Spread pistachios on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake 3-5 minutes until caramelized. Let cool and then break apart into little pistachio crumbles.
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing and let sit at least 5 minutes for the herbs to hydrate.
- Arrange lettuce, chicken, pear, cheese and candied pistachios on two plates. Drizzle dressing over top and season with pepper. Serve immediately.
A perfect lunch for two.
Disclosure: Litehouse Foods sent me some of their products to try but asked nothing in return. All opinions are my own.
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