Pear Pecan Salad with Queijo Fresco and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Happy New Year everyone!

Like most of you, I indulged this past holiday season. Now it’s time to start the new year with a healthy recipe for my favorite salad. It’s a very easy recipe, yet it’s very elegant and it will make you feel like you’ve ordered it at a fine dining restaurant.

I used Portuguese Queijo Fresco, but you can substitute with farmers cheese which is also about 60 calories per ounce. I prefer a lightly dressed salad but you can double the recipe if you prefer more dressing.

You’ll find that I used mustard in the dressing but don’t be afraid to use it. The mustard actually cuts the tartness in the vinegar. This dressing will store nicely in the refrigerator for up to 3 days so don’t worry if you make too much of it. However don’t make the salad until a few hours before serving. Store it in the refrigerator to retain it’s freshness.  (Note: This salad goes well with a light Raspberry Vinaigrette if you prefer.)  Enjoy!




4 cups Spring mix salad

1/2 cup candied or regular pecans (or walnuts)

1 whole sliced ripe pear

4  oz Queijo Fresco or Farmers cheese in cubes


Balsamic Dressing:

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 small (crushed) clove garlic

1/8 tsp yellow mustard



Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients in a small cup and mix well. Taste and add more salt or pepper if desired. Set aside until you are ready to serve salad.

Wash and then dry salad by absorbing moisture with a paper towel and place in large salad bowl.

Add the pear, pecans and cheese. Add dressing and toss lightly.





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