Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Spiced Toppings

I imagine that every family has its share of holiday dinner quirks. Apparently, a relish tray is common fare in some homes, though it might be called antipasti. Depending on your cultural background, be it ethnic or regional, you probably serve something unique at your house.

At our house, Thanksgiving Dinner is somewhat of a carbo-load. Aside from the requisite turkey and stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, jellied cranberry sauce and rolls. If we’re eating with my parents, there will probably be a corn dish of some kind as well as pork and beans, two items that say “Thanksgiving” to my dad.

Rarely is there a salad. At least not one that you would consider traditional. Unless it’s this one. (But, I’m from California, so Jell-O doesn’t count as a salad. No, no, it does not!)

Suffice it to say, I like salads. Nay, I love salads. So, I try to make a salad every year to offset all the carbs.

Depending on your upbringing, though, salad may not be considered a side dish. For some cultures it’s a starter. For others, you end the meal with a salad. But, for me, trying to compete with all the carbs, the salad is a side dish. Go figure.

This salad is one that I could eat at anytime during the meal, though. There are all kinds of flavors and textures at play here: soft, juicy pear, crisp lettuce, the bite of the scallion, the tang of the blue cheese, the kicky sweetness of the maple-spiced nuts and seeds. This salad rocks.

And you’ll want to make it more often than once a year. I promise.

Ultimate Recipe Swap

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Got some great side dishes to share? Link them up today. And don’t forget to check out some of our other favorite sides.

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  1. YUM! That looks so good! And except for the greens, I have everything in the house to make it!

  2. I have not been a big salad eater for the majority of my life… but recently I discovered homemade dressings and I can’t get enough salad! I am definitely going to check out your dressing recipes 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. You had me at the title! I was NOT a fan of blue cheese until having it with pears in a salad.

  4. Thank you for hosting. I shared my smashed potato gratin recipe. Thanksgiving is coming up so fast I really need to get organized! So many great recipes posted today.

  5. I didn’t grow up with salad on the Thanksgiving table either, but that is one of the dishes that I am taking. I think it is time to break tradition…my family will get over it.

    Thanks for hosting the linky. I posted a favorite fall side dish that would work well with a smaller crowd:

  6. Not usually a big salad eater on Thanksgiving but I love the idea of a LIGHT dish with the big feast. And pears on top, yum! Might have to try a version of this this year.

  7. Thanks for the multicultural shout out! Growing up, we would not only have our Thanksgiving turkey, but we would also have homemade pasta, ravioli and gnocci. (And salad last. 🙂 talk about carbo overload!

  8. That looks so good. I’m eating some maple-spiced pepitas as I’m reading this! Thanks so much for the recipe, they are delicious!

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