A Sensational Holiday Recipe: Red Rock Salad with Pears
This is a simply fabulous holiday salad. Red Rock Salad is both easy and delicious. Alongside the heavier holiday foods, it’s essential to serve a dish that feels fresh and delicious and this wonderful holiday salad will be perfect.
I was recently in Wisconsin, staying at the hotel @thecharmantlc, and the restaurant had a version of this wonderful high protein salad. I just loved it. This fantastic, easy Red Rock Salad had the perfect amount of sweetness for me, and while enjoying my dinner, I had one of those moments in which I was already planning to create my own version. (I am a longtime multitasker.)
Part of what’s amazing about this salad is that the nuts and the red rock cheese make it truly a high protein dish. The cheese is basically a lovely cheddar with a slight vein of bleu cheese, and it’s a spectacularly delicious combination. This was the first time I had tried this kind of cheese, and it’s sublime. It’s worth looking for, but if you can’t find it, simply cut crouton-sized cubes of cheddar and bleu cheese, and mix them together.
It’s really an effortless salad. The vinaigrette is simple, with a bit of pear for a natural sweetness. The pecans and thinly sliced pears are a wonderful combination. I finished it with fresh herbs, because I believe everything is better with thinly sliced chives on top.
Fantastic as a single serving, this salad is also magnificent as a platter for a group. I used my beautiful Serving Bowl from Made In — stunning!
Teri Tip: if you’ve read my cookbook, you know I’m a fan of salting your greens and tossing them before adding the other ingredients.
If you make one of my holiday recipes, leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you’re looking for more inspiration, sign up for our Friday Favorites newsletter, and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok to join in all the fun!
Food is my love language, and this book is a guide to getting you in the kitchen with me, rolling up your sleeves, and reigniting passion for everyday cooking. Woven throughout the book are my Teri’s Tips as well.
This cookbook is a love letter to my mother because it offers the recipe for a well-lived life.
Inspired by a salad I enjoyed, this delicious salad is full of Red Rock Cheese, pecans, and pears.
For the vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ small very ripe pear, diced
For the salad:
½ cup lightly toasted pecans, pieces
6 ounces soft greens, like butter or Bibb
4 ounces Red Rock Cheddar, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ ripe pears thinly sliced and halved
Pinch of kosher salt
Make the vinaigrette.
In a jar or bowl, add the red wine vinegar and whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and add the dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. In a food processor, blend the pears until smooth. Add the vinegar-oil mixture to the processor and blend until incorporated. Put vinaigrette in a jar and set aside.
Toast the pecans.
In a saute pan over medium heat, lightly toast the pecans for about 4 minutes, tossing them as needed. Keep an eye on the pecans and make sure they don’t burn, which can happen quickly.
Assemble the salad.
Arrange your greens on a platter and salt them. Sprinkle the pecans, cheddar, and pears evenly on top. Dress with pear vinaigrette and serve.