WALNUTS 1 heaping cup raw walnuts 2 tsp olive or coconut oil 1 Tbsp coconut sugar 2 tsp maple yacon syrup (or agave nectar) 1 pinch sea salt 1 pinch ground cinnamon 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional) DRESSING 1/4 cup (*pear cinnamon) balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 medium shallot, minced 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper SALAD 1 6-ounce bag mixed greens (organic when possible) 1 ripe Bosc or Bartlett Pear (thinly sliced lengthwise // stem and seeds removed) 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries (or cranberries, though cherries are best!)
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and add raw walnuts to a bare or parchment-lined baking sheet. Once oven is preheated, toast walnuts for 7 minutes. Then remove from oven and add remaining ingredients directly to the walnuts (oil, coconut sugar, syrup, sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne - optional). Use a spatula to thoroughly toss/combine. Place back in oven and roast for another 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar (or mixing bowl) and shaking vigorously (or whisking) to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more balsamic for acidity, salt or pepper for flavor balance, or olive oil for creaminess. Set aside.
To serve, add greens, half of the sliced pear, dried cherries, and half of the roasted walnuts to a large mixing/serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and toss to combine. Plate and garnish with remaining pears and walnuts, and serve with remaining dressing. Best when fresh, though leftovers store separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Store walnuts well sealed at room temperature.