winter salad

I’m pretty sure that our school secretary is the one who introduced me to this sweet and scrumptious salad.  For this salad, select an Anlou or Bosc pear which are both available from October through the winter months.  Both varieties are sweet; Bosc pears have a slightly spicy flavor.  A blender, food processor or emulsifier is the quickest way to prepare the dressing.  You can also make the dressing by hand, using a wire whisk to blend.  I use an emulsifier to mix the dressing.  If you don’t own an , emulsifier, I highly recommend investing in one.  An emulsifier will combine liquids that normally do not combine easily, such as oil and vinegar.  This method doesn’t allow later separations. Any left-over dressing is great poured over fresh fruit.

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
   1/2 cup sugar
   1/3 cup lemon juice
   2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
   1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
   1/2 teaspoon salt
   2/3 cup oil
   1 tablespoon poppy seed
   1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 10 cups)
   4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Swiss cheese
   1 cup cashews
   1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
   1 apple, cubed
   1 pear, cubed

  • In a blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt.  Cover; process until blended.  With machine running, add oil in slow steady stream, processing until thick and smooth.  Add poppy seed; process a few seconds to mix. 
  • In large serving bowl, combine all salad ingredients; toss to mix.  Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

–I use walnuts instead of the cashews.  I honestly believe you could use any type of nut or even mix them and these choices will not affect this salad in any way (except for the taste). 
–Peel the apple and pear.

  • –If not taking the salad to a carry-in, I prefer to keep the salad dressing in a separate container and provide individual bowls for everyone so they can control how much salad dressing they put on their salad.  This also allows for left-overs.  Salad will keep better when storing the dressing and salad mixture separately.