Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pear, Apple, and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

This salad is a great combination of all 5 tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami (I've been waiting to use that one; it means savory, you know).   The maple syrup and pears are sweet, the blue cheese salty, the arugula bitter, the vinegar and green apples are sour, and the walnuts are savory.  I've had a version of this salad many times at restaurants, but never with the maple syrup.   Delicious! 

Pear, Apple, and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette
For 2 large salads; adjust the amounts to your taste 

4 cups arugula
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into slices
1 Bartlett pear, cut into slices
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons maple syrup*
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
big pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a glass jar with a lid, combine the maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Put on the lid and shake well to combine.  Add the olive oil and shake well again.  Drizzle over arugula tossed with apples, pears, walnuts, and blue cheese.

* In the south, many people consider pancake syrup (like Mrs. Butterworth's) to be maple syrup, but it isn't.  Maple syrup is a natural product that comes from maple trees.  Mrs. Butterworth's is corn syrup flavored with, well, whatever Mrs. Butterworth puts in it...
If you haven't ever tried real maple syrup with your pancakes, waffles, and french toast, you must.  You will never go back to the Mrs.