How to make Southern pear salad

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If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Southern pear salad, you may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t traditionally involve any salad at all. The original recipe is only four ingredients: canned pear halves, mayonnaise, shredded cheddar cheese and maraschino cherries.
While a Southern classic, this combination may not be for everyone -- with only four ingredients, it’s not much of a recipe. So why not take inspiration from these flavors and create a salad that’s sweet and tart, slightly peppery but with a backbone of creaminess, all focused around a delicious, juicy pear? This recipe uses fresh pears instead of canned, goat cheese takes the place of the mayo and cheddar, and dried sour cherries replace the maraschinos. Plus, there’s a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. The result is just as iconic as its inspiration, and a whole lot more impressive.
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Cooktop Cove
Southern Pear Salad
2
15 minutes
0 minutes
15 minutes
2 Bosc pears
2 cups arugula
½ cup goat cheese
3 tablespoons acacia honey, separated
¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup dried sour cherries
Peel the pears and cut them in half, removing the cores and stems.
Prepare two plates. Place half of the arugula on each one and top with the pear halves, flat sides up.
Spoon the goat cheese into each of the pear halves and spread it out evenly. Drizzle each pear half with honey, using one tablespoon total.
In a mason jar with a lid, combine the remaining honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously until well-blended. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and finally top with the dried cherries. Serve immediately.
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