A delicious pear blackberry salad with a homemade creamy poppyseed dressing
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with soups and salads. I’m quite certain I could live on only soups and salads and not be even a little sad about it (as long as I also got the occasional snickerdoodle).
So when it comes to holiday menus and throwing holiday events, I always get the most excited about the sides: side salads, appetizer soup shooters, roasted veggies (which is basically a side salad right?!), and rolls (to dip in the soup obviously!)
Of course the main dishes like turkey, ham or prime rib are amazing, but my plate is always heavily geared towards those sides.
This pear and blackberry salad has a simple homemade poppyseed dressing. The main ingredients: blackberries, pears, candied pecans, and goat (or feta) cheese, all on a bed of spring lettuce mix. This takes just minutes to throw together in a fancy-looking and great tasting salad.
When serving this salad for a party or holiday meal I make a batch of candied pecans and the dressing a day or two in advance. This makes the final assembly take less than 10 minutes.
You never know if you can find fresh good and ripe pears at the store so I love removing that stress and getting canned pears allowing you to create the perfect holiday salad.
A delicious pear and blackberry salad with a homemade creamy poppyseed dressing
- 1 package (6 ounces) spring lettuce mix
- 1 package (6 ounces) fresh blackberries
- 1 can (15 ounces) Libby's Pear Halves, drained and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped candied pecans (recipe for a full batch below)
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
- 1/3 cup regular (full fat) mayo
- 4 tablespoons half and half
- 2-3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound pecan halves
In a large salad bowl toss together the spring lettuce mix and fresh (washed and completely dried) blackberries. Drain the pears and thinly slice. Add to the salad.
Right before serving, add the chopped candied pecans, goat or feta cheese, and the dressing. Don't add dressing, pecans, or cheese to any salad you want to have as leftovers.
Combine all of the ingredients (add sugar to preference) in a blender and pulse until combined. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Dressing stays good for 1 week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl combine the white sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites, vanilla, and water together until frothy. Toss the pecans into this mixture and then remove using a slotted spoon. Put into the sugar mixture and toss pecans until well coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven stirring every 15 minutes until pecans are evenly browned. This takes about 45-60 minutes. Let stand for 30-45 minutes and allow the pecans to fully cool and solidify. Coarsely chop for the salad.
Prep/cook time doesn't include the preparation of the candied pecans.