Honey-Roasted Pear Salad with Thyme-Apple Verjus Vinaigrette

This salad is a stunner!

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
4 ripe but firm Bosc pears (about 2 ½ pounds), halved, cored
¼ cup honey
6 cups mixed spring greens, such as this week’s Wrinkled Crinkled Cress, Claytonia and salad mix
6 ounces blue cheese, sliced or coarsely crumbled
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

Dressing:
⅓ cup apple verjus
⅓ cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Method:
1. To prepare the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Scatter thyme sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the pear halves cut side down on a work surface. Starting ½ -inch from stem and leaving the pear half intact, cut each lengthwise into scant ⅓- to 1/2 -inch-wide slices. Press pear gently to fan slices; place atop thyme sprigs. Drizzle pears with honey; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until pears are tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand on a baking sheet at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

3. Combine the greens in a large bowl. Add a drizzle dressing and toss to coat, adding more to taste. Divide the salad among plates and place a pear half on top of the greens. Garnish salads with cheese; sprinkle with nuts.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

This room temperature salad from The Barefoot Contessa has just the right amount of crunch!

Ingredients:
1 large bunch purple sprouting broccoli
¼ cup high-quality olive oil
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Remove and discard the bottom third of the broccoli stems. If some stems are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the pepper. When the water comes to a full boil, add the broccoli, return to a boil, and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, until the stalks are just tender. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Pour enough dressing over the broccoli to moisten and toss well. Splash with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm or hot.

Cara Cara Orange Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

This crisp, citrus-kissed salad is both bold in flavor and beautiful in presentation.

Ingredients:
1-2 Cara Cara oranges
½ pound arugula greens
1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Vinaigrette:
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil (or other preferred mild tasting oil)

Method:
1. Spread the arugula greens out on a large, round serving platter to make a bed.

2. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the tops and bottoms off the orange. Stand oranges up and slice to remove the peel and membrane. Then, slice oranges crosswise into thin wheels.

3. Arrange the orange on top of the arugula, overlapping the slices slightly. Then layer on the avocado slices.

4. To prepare the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients except the two oils. Continue whisking while adding the oils in a thin stream. Keep whisking until well combined. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and then season with ground pepper if desired. Garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Carrot and Apple Slaw with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

This refreshing, brightly-colored slaw is a snap to do-ahead.

Ingredients:
4 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 crisp apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
2 teaspoons finely-snipped fresh chives

Dressing:
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons honey

Method:
1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, salt, honey and poppy seeds. Set aside. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.)

2. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots and apple. Spoon the dressing over the top and toss to distribute evenly. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chives.

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