Friday food share: pear salad

I'm realizing that with the changing light these days, getting a quick picture of our food share goods before we bring them over to our neighbors is getting to be more challenging...hence the absence of a post last week. So I will have to PLAN AHEAD. Truth be told, this is not something that comes naturally to me, especially in the food prep arena. So I will grow to meet the blogging challenge (and ya know, for personal edification and whatnot). And I'm sure my dear food swap buddies will be happy to receive their meals a bit earlier than my usual, ahem, 15ish (sometimes longer) minutes late...(yikes) But the floret on the salad is worth it, right? The deeper your hunger, that greater your enjoyment, right? No more excuses...I will plan ahead!

So this little salad number is not what we delivered for food share (we actually brought goods from a late season grill out, one of our go-too easy peasy meals for busy weeks), but we did take it to a potluck last night where we reunited with some dear friends. The constant of the salad is no 1. GOAT CHEESE and no 2. RIPE AVOCADO and then we mix it up with variations of other tasty morsels. I realize avocado does not sit well with everyone out there (but goat cheese, I can't imagine a non vegan not liking goat cheese...I'm sure there are good folks who don't, I just can't imagine it), but I will tell you that my non avocado eating friends have enjoyed this salad. Something about the combination of ingredients makes it more palatable for those who usually distain avocado green mushiness.

The other ingredients:

greens: in this case, Spinach, but we also use romaine, white heart lettuce, etc

fruit: pears here, but fresh strawberries in the summer are really good, kiwi is a fun (but slightly time consuming) twist, fresh figs, blueberries, etc

roasted nuts: we never used to roast our own nuts until a friend taught us how to make biscotti, but now that we do, oh my gosh, we're not going back. Especially when you get to eat the salad right away with the nuts still warm. yum. We just sprinkle the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast them at 350 until toasty, usually about 10-15 minutes. super easy. Anyway, we have almonds here, but have enjoyed roasted hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts

dried fruit: this salad has dark raisins, but you could do cherries, cranberries, yellow raisins....go wild

So this is pretty much the simplest salad ever. Sometimes we put bits of chicken or salmon in it to make it more filling and a stand alone meal, but mostly eat it sans meat. I actually enjoy this without a dressing, but we've put an olive oil + balsalmic combo on it before, which was tasty. Does anybody have other ideas for dressing? I'd love to be more versed in that realm...making your own dressing still seems pretty fancy and elusive to me.