Friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life (salad quote).
This asparagus, pear, and walnut salad is healthy, yet full of taste. If you happen to have the grill fired up, grill the asparagus spears and pear slices instead of roasting them for a completely new flavor.
A bit of crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola adds a great deep flavor, but if you are concerned about the sodium, replace the blue cheese with dried fruits like cherries, currants, or golden raisins.
- 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and partially peeled
- 2 ripe Bosc pears, cored and sliced thin
- 4 tablespoons walnuts (whole or pieces)
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons crumbled Roquefort cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the asparagus spears on a baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of oil. Arrange the pear slices on a second baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Bake until browned, about 8 minutes. Turn once or twice to color evenly. Transfer to a salad bowl and let cool slightly.
- Toast the walnut pieces in the oven on an ungreased baking sheet until golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Just before serving, add the arugula to the asparagus and pears and toss gently. Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the red wine vinegar over the salad. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad evenly among 4 salad plates, top with the cheese and the walnuts, and serve at once.