This salad has the perfect combination of flavours and textures. It's fruity, sweet, tangy and crunchy. Lettuce is layered with pears, Roquefort, avocado and spring onions, drizzled with a mustard dressing and scattered with caramelised pecans. It's the perfect summer salad to be enjoyed anytime of the year. Serve as a side dish or starter.
I made this salad for a dinner party and my guests were reaching for the bread to scrape their plates clean! I urge you to try it. It was different and absolutely delicious! The pecans added crunch, the pears were a juicy and flavourful addition and the vinaigrette with the hint of mustard was just right. I used Romaine lettuce (for more crunch appeal) but I didn't put in the avocado as I thought that might make it just a bit too filling for a starter. I think it unnecessay to layer the salad - I chucked all the ingredients into a big salad bowl, tossed it well and served it. - 25 Jan 2014
I have been making this salad for several years and it is always a big hit with many people telling me it is their favorite salad ever - even months after having it. I would recommend following the recipe just as it is for the best results! If you have never caramelized pecans the way this recipe tells, it is a little intimidating the first time - but be patient with the stirring and watching and adjusting the heat to keep the sugar melting. I use parchment paper when they are done, You do not need to add water or butter as I have heard some people want to do. Let the heat do the work on the sugar. You'll be a pro at it in no time. I like to do extra to have on hand for the next time around when short on time. I also make extra dressing to save time if I know I will be making the recipe again soon. So delicious! And beautiful! - 02 Nov 2014
Awesome! Have made this several times now since I found it almost a year ago, and it never fails to get rave reviews, out of the 80 or so recipes I have tried off of this site, this has been by far the most successful! Instead of tossing the salad, I layer it as pictured on a large serving plate, b/c I think it looks so striking that way. FYI - Roquefort is a type of blue cheese, so it can be easily substituted with your favorite blue. I buy a good Danish Blue from Trader Joes. For lettuce I use 1 and 1/2 of the 10 oz. size bags of mixed greens...perfect amt. of lettuce. I use bosc pears, I find that they have good crunch that compliments the rest of the salad. Use red onion instead of green for color. I omit the avocado, unneccesary and browns fast, which isn't helpful if you are traveling with this salad. The dressing...is absolutely amazing. I always use dijon mustard for extra "tang". Double the dressing, and please use the red wine vinegar, as the recipe states! Don't sub in balsamic, it is much stronger than red wine and the taste would be off. The only other thing I do differently is add more carmelized pecans. BIGGEST CRUCIAL TIP: To properly carmelize your pecans, add 1-2 Tbsp. water to the pecans and sugar. This helps melt the sugar evenly over the pecans. If you do not add the water, the sugar may burn, or you will end up with rock hard sugar pieces that will break your teeth! Enjoy, if a salad can be considered phenomenal, this is it! - 27 Jan 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)