Were you pretty sure that I had fallen off the face of the earth? It has literally been years since I posted as little as the last 2 weeks. And I did kind of fall off the face of the earth as I normally know it and into the beautiful blue of a vacation in Mexico. With my man. We travel a lot for work, and just took a wonderful family trip with the kids. But kid-free time with your husband and a couple close friends in Mexico is a real vacation, you know?

Frisee and Pear Salad with Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

I figured the universe was trying to tell me something when just before New Years, my camera, my computer, my back up computer and my phone broke. Seriously. I think I needed a break. I love what I do, but everyone needs a breather once in a while and mine became mandatory. But I am grateful. Not for the hours and money spent at Genius Bar and AT&T and my local camera store, but for the time it freed up to focus on my kids and on my husband and great friends. Sometimes time is the greatest gift there is.

Frisee and Pear Salad with Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

So here I am, soaking up a few final hours of watery blue beauty before we bounce back into reality (and happily my children and baby Wilbur!)and I am refreshed and happy and excited to get back in the kitchen and start creating again. By the way I have some amazing dishes inspired by this trip that will be up very soon!

Frisee and Pear Salad with Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

In the mean time, I offer you a hearty and delicious winter salad. This is what I want to come home and make to soothe my insides after 5 days of marinating them in Tequila. I LOVE frisee salads to begin with, then I topped it with sweet firm pears, toasted hazelnuts and blue cheese crumbles, plus a wonderfully sweet and tangy cranberry mustard vinaigrette. Perfect with a bowl of hot soup and a biscuit.

Frisee and Pear Salad with Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

Frisee Salad with pears, hazelnuts, blue cheese and cranberry mustard vinaigrette

2 heads frisee, bottoms trimmed.
1 large pear, thinly sliced
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon good quality grainy mustard
1/4 cup raw cranberries
2 teaspoons agave or honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher Salt and black pepper to taste

On a platter or in a bowl,lay down the frisee, and follow it with the pears, hazelnuts and blue cheese.

Drizzle the top of the salad with desired amount of cranberry mustard vinaigrette and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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