Pear and Blue Cheese-Walnut Salad

Pear and Cheese Board SetSophisticated for the guests, but easy for the host, this salad features pears, blue cheese, and walnuts on a palette of greens. A combination of white wine vinegar, salad oil, pear nectar, and Dijon-style mustard makes a great tasting dressing that is drizzled over the salad right before serving. Your guests will love it.

You Will Need:
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 medium pears
Mixed salad greens
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1 Cup walnuts
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3 Cup white wine vinegar
1/3 Cup salad oil
1/3 Cup pear nectar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Butter the foil; set aside.
In a heavy 10-inch skillet combine walnuts, sugar, and margarine or butter.
Cook over medium-high heat, shaking skillet occasionally until sugar begins to melt.
Do not stir.
Reduce heat to low and cook until sugar is golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Pour onto prepared baking sheet.
Cool completely.
Break into clusters.
Set aside.

In a screw-top jar combine vinegar, oil, pear nectar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Cover and shake well to mix.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Shake before serving.

Halve and core pears.
Thinly slice pears; brush with lemon juice to prevent browning. (This may be done up to 1 hour ahead.)

To arrange salads, line plates with salad greens.
Fan pear slices atop each serving.
Sprinkle with some crumbled cheese and walnuts.
Drizzle with 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette (reserve the rest for another use).

Make-Ahead Tip:
Prepare nuts; place in an airtight container. Seal, label, and chill or freeze up to 1 week.

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