Monday, January 27, 2014

Cabbage Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

Sometimes I find ingredients in the most LEAST likely places.  I found a recipe for Pear Vinaigrette on and I really wanted to serve it with a spinach salad for Christmas dinner.  A simple salad of fresh spinach, toasted walnuts, diced pears and a sprinkling of blue cheese was the perfect compliment to my beef tenderloin dinner.

I always plan my Christmas menu well in advance so that I can get some things made ahead of time.  The pear vinaigrette was one of those things on my menu that I wanted to make ahead of time so I headed to the grocery store to look for the ingredients.  I went to Kroger - no pear infused vinegar.  I went to Fresh Market and Trader Joes - No pear infused vinegar.  I finally ended up at Wal Mart and MUCH to my surprise - PEAR INFUSED VINEGAR.  (Not sure why in the world Wal Mart carries such an obscure product but I'm not complaining.) 

This is what I combined to make my vinaigrette:

Pear Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons Pear Juice
1 tablespoons Pear Infused Vinegar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 sprigs of Thyme, leaves removed {discard stem}
1/8 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Whisk together ingredients.

I made a double batch of dressing because I also wanted to use some on a cabbage salad that I was sending to school for a teacher luncheon.  I really like the Ramen noodle salad but I've never liked the uber-salty dressing that's made with the seasoning packet and normally served with the salad.  I thought this pear vinaigrette might be a nice light addition to the salad.

I started by crumbling a package of ramen noodles and then toasting them in a dry skillet with some sliced almonds.

 Then I added some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries to the mix.

I added all of that to a bowl of sliced napa cabbage.

I tossed in some sliced green onions and the rest of my goodies and voila - cabbage salad.

I drizzled my salad with the pear vinaigrette and it was delicious.  (Way better than the soy/ramen dressing.)

I love when I can use 1 dressing for multiple things.

Everyone in this house was quite curios about the pear juice so we all had to try it.   It really does taste just like a pear.  It's a little thick and syrupy for me but I combined it with some apple juice and it was really much better.  Not sure I would buy pear juice just to drink on it's own but since I have some leftover, I'll be enjoying some apple-pear juice for breakfast.


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