- 1 ½ cups pecans
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 bag (5 ounces) mixed baby salad greens, 5 to 6 cups
- 1 head Belgian endive, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 small ripe pears (Anjou and/or Bosc), cored and chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 thin slices from loaf of Panera Bread Country Bread, toasted
1. For the pecans: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Stir together sugar and water in saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and simmer over medium-high heat until mixture reaches 240ºF, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pecans, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Sugar will crystallize on the nuts. Continue stirring until sugar melts, glazes nuts, and turns a light caramel color, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Immediately spread the nuts in single layer on prepared pan and let them cool. They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
4. For salad and dressing: Put vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk in oil in a slow, steady steam. When oil is fully incorporated, whisk in mustard, salt, and pepper. Add greens and endive, and toss to coat. Divide dressed greens and endive among salad plates.
5. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with lemon juice to coat.
6. Scatter the pears and the cheese over the greens. Break the pecans into pieces and scatter over the top. Serve with toasted Panera Bread Country Bread.
TIP: If you don’t have goat cheese, serve thin shavings of aged Manchego over the salad.
674 calories, 13 g protein, 56 g carbohydrate, 47 g fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 401 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber