Ingredients: Serves 4. Prep time: 30 minutes.
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coarsely-ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-ounce log fresh chevre
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pears (Anjou or Bartlett)
- 3 cups spinach leaves
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, mustard and honey in a small food processor or blender and slowly, with the motor running, add the oil to create an emulsion. Set aside when blended.
- Slice or form the chevre into 8 medallions (discs) about 1/2 inch thick. Coat each disc completely with bread crumbs, firmly pressing crumbs onto the cheese. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat, then gently add the goat cheese and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Core and chop the pears into bite-sized pieces. Add the spinach, arugula, pears and cranberries to a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Divide the lettuce mixture onto four serving plates and top each with 2 medallions of goat cheese. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Pan-fry or bake prosciutto until crisp and crumble it over the salad or top with toasted walnuts or pine nuts. Use a combination of red and green pears to make a festive holiday plate or add some thinly-sliced Belgian endive or radicchio to the lettuce mix for crunch and color. Try Asian pears for milder crispy sweetness.
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