Arugula pear salad balances Thanksgiving flavors

To stand out in a Thanksgiving spread, a salad must be bold and flavorful. Yet it should not compete with the other flavors on the table.

To strike this delicate balance, we created this arugula salad that is topped with spiced and sauteed pears and goat cheese, then drizzled with a pomegranate-Dijon vinaigrette.

Arugula pear salad with pomegrante vinaigrette and goat cheese

1tablespoon butter

1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon

3large pears, cored and sliced

1/2cup dried cranberries

1/2cup sliced dried apricots

1/2cup pomegranate juice

2tablespoons red wine vinegar

2tablespoons sugar

1tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2teaspoon salt

1/2teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of ground allspice

1/4cup olive oil

110-ounce container baby arugula

4ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the butter and cinnamon. When the butter has melted, add the pears and saute until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and apricots, then cook for another minute. Set aside off the heat.

In a blender, combine the pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, allspice and olive oil. Blend until well combined.

In a large bowl, arrange the arugula. Top the greens with the sauteed pear mixture, then the crumbled goat cheese. Serve the vinaigrette on the side.

Makes 10 servings.

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