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Thanksgiving Side: Pear and goat cheese salad with rosemary walnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette

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Can my favorite Thanksgiving dish be a side? That feels a little wrong… but if so, this salad is definitely in the running. The combination of sweet and savory walnuts, goat cheese, slightly sweet pear, tangy red onion and the soft coat of the maple balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect starter to your Thanksgiving feast this year!

My favorite part of this salad has to be the rosemary walnuts- so please don’t skip that step! They’re well worth the extra 15 minutes, promise!

Pear and goat cheese salad with rosemary walnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette
Serves 4-6 as a side

Ingredients:

Rosemary Walnuts

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Salad

  • 4 cups (1 16-oz clamshell) mixed greens
  • 1 pear, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup rosemary walnuts
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
  • pinch sea salt

Rosemary Walnuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss all ingredients together.
  3. Roast walnuts for 10-15 minutes, tossing on occasion to prevent burning. Let cool.

Salad:

  1. Arrange all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Toss with dressing just before serving.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk or blend all ingredients well just before serving.
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Pear and goat cheese salad with rosemary walnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette

Ingredients

Scale

Rosemary Walnuts

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Salad

  • 4 cups (1 16-oz clamshell) mixed greens
  • 1 pear, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup rosemary walnuts
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

Rosemary Walnuts:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss all ingredients together.
  • Roast walnuts for 10-15 minutes, tossing on occasion to prevent burning. Let cool.

Salad:

  • Arrange all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Toss with dressing just before serving.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • Whisk or blend all ingredients well just before serving.

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