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Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad

As you all know, I’m trying to be all about salad this year.  Tryin’ real hard, in fact.

Since this week has been very stressful (finals and all that), I decided that after presenting my project at school, I would come home and make myself a nice lunch before starting to study again.  At the grocery store I snagged a couple of eggplants on quick sale and thought a Thai roasted eggplant salad would be just the ticket.

So, so, wrong.  It was awful.  It was a horrendous pureed texture, the flavors just did not work together, and it smelled and tasted like Henry’s post-catfood breath.  Not a good smell, and definitely not a good taste.

Being the “calm under fire” type of person who reacts especially well when stressed, I promptly threw it out and sat down to study.  And then I thought about all the food I wasted.  And how much time I lost from studying.  And how the house still smelled like old salmon left out to ripen on a hot sunny day (darn you, Thai fish sauce).  And then I cried.

Turns out I’m not really the “calm under fire” type.  More the “cry under fire” type.  So I let it out for about 30 seconds and then gave myself a (figurative) slap across the face.

Gotta get it together!  There’s always still time to have a good day (and a good lunch).  One emergency phone call to Fritz (only a little teary), and a lovely tub of gorgonzola cheese arrived home only a few minutes later.

Sometimes you just need some cheese.

Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad

  • 4 C baby spinach (or a few handfuls…which is how I actually measured)
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1 ripe Anjou pear (any would work, I’m sure!), cored and diced
  • 1/4 C gorgonzola cheese
  • 1-2 T balsamic vinaigrette per serving (I used Newman’s Own, light)

First important step: attempt to cheer yourself up by making your salad in the gorgeous wooden bowl given to you by your parents, passed down from your great-aunt.

Incidentally, the fabric under the bowl is also from my great-aunt.

Toss in the spinach.

I must have felt better by this point, because I took the time to do a little photography experiment.  Because it was so dark and rainy outside, and it was already past five, it was really dim in the kitchen and difficult to get a good shot so–I broke out the tripod!  I’ve been using it for some occasions like these where I want a clearer shot.  Can you tell the difference?  Other than the tripod, I took them at exactly the same settings, distance, etc.  I love how much clearer the spinach is in the entire bowl in the top picture.

Anyway, add in the raisins:

The pear (which was so perfectly ripe, I couldn’t stand it):

And, of course, the cheese:

No one will judge you if you add in a little extra.  Give the salad a toss, and then admire.  Further cheer yourself up by using your favorite serving spoon, given to you as a wedding gift by Fritz’s aunt.

Serve the salad and drizzle the dressing over the top.  You could add the dressing in now, but I didn’t want to have dressing already involved in case there were leftovers.  Which there were (it made about three main dishes and probably six side salads).

So delicious.  I call salads that I like “restaurant quality” and this one definitely fits the bill.  I threw some leftover ham in Fritz’s salad (that man-protein complex) and he ate the giant salad in about four minutes.  Impressive.

This actually reminded me a little of a salad my high school boyfriend’s mom used to make, except I think her recipe used craisins, apples, and walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette.  I loved that salad a lot, too–maybe that’ll be my next one, since I have some cheese leftover.  Any other gorgonzola cheese-involved salads that I need to try?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2011/05/18/pear-and-gorgonzola-spinach-salad/

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  1. Nita van Rooyen

    The salad serving spoon is lovely and made by Carol Boyes as functional art. Just a lovely salad, btw!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      it really is functional art. I saw a display of a whole set (including my spoon) in Canada last year. Absolutely gorgeous.

  2. taylor (yes, that one.)

    hi! i love reading your blogs. you’re really inspiring… you’re so pretty and smart and cool. i want to be just like you when i grow up! (and on a non-gushy note… this salad looks delicious.)

  3. jill huttula

    This salad, with cranberries instead of raisins, is also delicious with barbequed wild Alaska salmon on top

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