Salad is my favorite food. Seriously I LOVE it. I think I order a salad almost every time we go to a restaurant. And I eat a salad everyday for lunch.

I can think back to one time when I was younger, maybe in Jr. High, give or take a couple years. And I went to dinner with my grandma at Ruby’s. She loved a salad they had that had fried chicken, egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, some other stuff and it was tossed in honey mustard. To this day, I still remembering loving that salad. And I think that is where my love for salads started; At Ruby’s?!? That is sort of embarrassing.

Salads can be so creative. You can really put almost any combination of ingredients in a salad. Here are a few salads I have made that have been super delicious, yet they contain some very interesting ingredient combinations:
Watermelon Feta
Butternut Squash and Apple
Peanut Noodle
Mango Caprese

Serves 6
3 ripe Anjou pears (or any pears you can find)
juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey (to make it vegan, try agave or maple)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bag (6 ounces)Arugula
Black pepper and sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the pears into slices, about 6 slices per pear, removing the cores and seeds.
Whisk the apple cider, vinegar, lemon juice, honey and 1 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.
Toss the pears with the mixture and arrange them core side up in a baking dish.

Bake the pears, basting every 5-10 minutes with the apple sauce mixture, until tender, about 40-50 minutes. Remove and let cool to warm or room temp.

Whisk together the remaining olive oil and 1/2 cup of the basting liquid. Toss with the arugula with the dressing, pecans and cranberries and divide among 6 plates. Top each salad with 3 pear slices, season with salt and pepper.