Pear and Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is topped with juicy pears, feta cheese, candied walnuts and dried cranberries, and drizzled with a delicious vinaigrette dressing for a refreshing summer salad. Serve with crusty bread rolls and you have a meal for a light yet satisfying lunch meal.
Every year from June to August, bloggers experience a seasonal decline in traffic and income which is commonly referred to in the industry as the summer slump. The theory is, blog growth slows down and blog engagement falls during summer months because people spend less time in front of their computers and more time outside, enjoying barbecues, picnics, and pool parties or going on vacations and week-long trips.
As temperatures rise, people are less likely to be on their laptops searching for recipes to make when there are more fun things to do outdoors.
You guys, I am so with you! Who wants to be cooped up in the kitchen cooking up a storm when you can be frolicking at the beach soaking up the sun, right? Heck, I food blog for a living yet even I have no energy for any type of tedious meal prep in this sordid heat. The less work dinner involves and the faster I am out of the kitchen, the better.
My answer to this summer dilemma? A refreshing Pear and Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing I can toss up in ten minutes flat!
I usually stock up on bags of spring salad mix and various dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries or apricots for quick lunch or dinner options throughout the week. With these on hand, the longest part of pulling this Pear and Feta salad together is making the candied walnuts (if you’ll even consider three minutes long) and waiting for them to cool. But since I like to candy batches of nuts when I have time (or willpower) to spare, I always have a full jar for on-the-go snacking or for topping salads and a few of my favorite dishes.
Sweet potato casserole with rum and candied pecans? A must on your next Thanksgiving feast! Honey walnut shrimp? Don’t even get me started!
I included a recipe on how to quickly make your own supply of these delicious walnut treats but you can also find them in the salad section of any major supermarket if you’d like to cut on prep time.
For the poppy seed dressing, which takes but a minute to make, I like to use my blender but you can just as easily whisk it together by hand. It’s such a simple dressing, it’s amazing how well it compliments the sweet, tangy, salty and crunchy goodness of this pear and feta salad!
As it is a favorite of mine during summer months when I don’t want to be encumbered with any form of cooking, I usually keep this delicious salad meat-free. If you have any leftover grilled chicken or steak, feel free to toss them in!
Folks, summer meal can’t get quicker, easier and tastier than this Pear and Feta Salad. With this salad in your repertoire, preparing family dinners need not take you away from the fun and adventure of the gorgeous weather outside. Enjoy!
- 1 package spring mix
- 2 pears, sliced
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup candied walnuts
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Divide spring mix between 4 salad serving plates. Top with sliced pears, candied walnuts and dried cranberries. Sprinkle with feta cheese and drizzle with poppy seed salad dressing.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Add walnuts and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove walnuts and arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and dry.
- In a blender, combine sugar, vinegar, yellow mustard, salt and pepper and process for about 10 seconds. Set blender on high, and then gradually add vegetable oil in a slow, steady stream. Transfer into a container and stir in poppy seeds.
- Alternatively, combine sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, yellow mustard, salt, and pepper into a tightly-sealed jar. Shake vigorously until well combined.
- Or in a large bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, yellow mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well-blended.