Chicken, Pear and Cheddar Salad with Maple Dressing.
Lots of words in the title…lots of flavor in the salad.
We recently took a family road trip from Utah up the west coast. Our trip went something like this…
Eight adults and one (very enthusiastic and energetic) nine-month-old in a sprinter van for seven days. Lots of driving with stops at all the delicious food locations, because hello, we had two food bloggers aboard. Also my family becomes the “eatin’ club” when on vacation, so everyone prioritizes the food stops. (Club name dubbed by the one and only Papa D.)
Some of our favorite finds along the way included:
• Spork in Bend, Oregon. (Mexican/Asian Fusion with amazingly creative and unique dishes).
• Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon. (TO. DIE. FOR. biscuit breakfast sandwiches…and while you’re there, try the homemade pop tarts)!
• Salt and Straw in Portland, Oregon. (Amazing ice cream shop with very unique flavors and fantastic customer service. I ordered red velvet with chocolate cake chunks).
• And of course, we had to stop at the Tillamook factory to sample some cheeses, take a tour and grab a bite to eat.
I ordered a delicious salad from the Tillamook Factory, which became the inspiration for this Chicken, Pear and Cheddar Salad with Maple Dressing.
It was loaded with fresh pears, dried cranberries and Tillamook cheese, and it had these yummy spiced hazelnuts and maple dressing on top. Yum. We took a mental note that we needed to recreate this one at home.
Our version is slightly different, but still incorporates those yummy flavors that are perfect for this time of the year.
Salads don’t have to be boring and bland. Load it up with spiced pistachios, seasonal produce and a sweet maple-balsamic dressing and you’ve got yourself a real treat that’s packed full of nutrient-dense ingredients.
- 3 cups baby kale
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 2 large pears
- 6-8 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (we recommend [Tillamookhttps://www.tillamook.com/products/cheese/loaf/special-reserve-extra-sharp-cheddar.html]!)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup pistachios
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Thinly slice or chop pears.
- Cut cheese and chicken into bite-sized cubes.
- Soak cranberries in water for 10 minutes (optional). Drain.
- Add all ingredients to bowl and drizzle with dressing. Top with spiced pistachios.
- Place pistachios in pan, sprinkle with cayenne, salt and pepper, and toast over medium-low heat for about five minutes, until nuts begin to brown.
- Combine vinegar, syrup and oil and blend.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.