Submitted by First Alternative Co-op, Corvallis Oregon
This winning combination salad has all the components of a late harvest moon — pear, cranberry, hazelnut and maple syrup team up to have you singing in the rain.
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 firm-ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
½ small red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 cup raw hazelnuts
2 tsp plus ¼ cup olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp sea salt
Spread hazelnuts on a cookie sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Roast at 350°F for 15-18 minutes. Let cool, then rub nuts with a towel to remove loose skins.
Wash lettuce. Cut into bite-sized pieces or chiffonade into ½’ wide strips. Spin dry in a salad spinner and transfer to a large bowl. Add the sliced pears, onion, and hazelnuts and toss.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil and the shallots and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Add cranberries and continue to sauté until the cranberries are soft and have ‘popped.’ Transfer the mixture to a blender along with remaining dressing ingredients and blend on high until smooth. For a thinner consistency add a few tablespoons of water and blend again. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.