Pear & Walnut Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

I'll admit it, I'm become a bit a bit of a salad snob. I've always been drawn to the more adventurous, complex salads, the ones with bold flavours and textures. So, when a friend suggested a pear and walnut salad with lime vinaigrette, I was skeptical. 'Pear? In a salad? Isn't that a little...boring?' I thought. But, ever the adventurous eater, I decided to give it a go. And boy, was I surprised! 

The salad was a revelation. The sweet, juicy pears, the crunchy walnuts, the tangy lime vinaigrette - everything just clicked. The contrasting textures and flavours created a symphony in my mouth. It was light, refreshing, and incredibly satisfying.

Here's what I learned from my first pear and walnut salad experience:

Pear is the perfect salad ingredient: I was wrong to underestimate the humble pear. Its sweetness and juicy texture provided the perfect counterpoint to the nutty, earthy notes of the walnuts.
Lime vinaigrette is a game-changer: The sharp acidity of the lime cut through the richness of the walnuts and the sweetness of the pears. It was the perfect finishing touch.
Simplicity is key: This salad was surprisingly simple to make. I used a mix of baby spinach and arugula for a peppery kick, and tossed everything together with the vinaigrette. No complicated chopping or special ingredients needed.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

1 garlic clove
100g walnuts
200g ricotta cheese
400g lettuce leaves
2 pears, sliced, mixed with 2 tablespoons lime juice

Lime vinaigrette:
60ml lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp raspberry vinegar

1. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 5-8 minutes or until slightly browned - shake the tray to ensure even colouring. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

2. To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

3. Place the salad leaves, pear and most of the walnuts in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss through. Scatter with remaining walnuts and a few small dollops of ricotta cheese and serve with the croutons.

Final thoughts: This simple salad has become a staple in my weekly meal plan. It's so versatile, easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Plus, it's a great way to showcase seasonal produce and introduce unexpected flavor combinations. So, if you're looking for a fresh, flavourful salad that's sure to impress, give this pear and walnut salad a try. You might just be surprised at how much you love it!