Green Salad Ideas: Pecan Pear Salad

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Makes 4 to 6 servings
For a change of taste, try the sweet and nutty combinations in this pecan pear salad as a starter or side dish with a creamy carrot or squash soup; seafood, poultry or beans; and brown rice, quinoa, roasted potatoes or whole-grain bread. For one-dish dining, fan thinly sliced grilled, roasted or baked chicken or turkey over individual salad portions and serve with a side of roasted potatoes, brown rice or whole-grain bread.

• 8 heaping cups greens
• 1 cup edible flowers, optional
• 2 peeled, cored and thinly sliced Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou pears (if preparing salad ahead, lightly toss with lemon or orange juice to prevent discoloration)
• ½ to ¾ cup Creamy Poppy Seed Salad Dressing or Mustard Honey Dressing
• ¼ to ½ cup lightly toasted pecans 
• Freshly ground black pepper, optional

1. Layer lettuce, optional flowers and sliced pears in a 3-quart bowl. If packing salad for lunches, divide between 4 glass containers with lids and pack dressing in small jars.

2. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss to coat. Taste and add a little more dressing as needed to moisten. Add pecans and optional black pepper, and serve. Cover and refrigerate leftovers and use within 24 hours.

Rachel Albert-Matesz, a food and health writer, healthy cooking coach and co-author of the award-winning book The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook (Planetary Press, 2004) lives in Phoenix. For more information about her book, classes and services, visit

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