frisee salad with cranberry mustard

Frisee Salad with Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese and Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette

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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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20 Comments

  1. Eileen says:

    This salad sounds so perfect for the deepest depths of winter! The dressing sounds especially wonderful–sweet, tart, and spicy all at the same time.

    • Thank you Eileen!!I just love that vinaigrette too!

  2. I want to drizzle that vinaigrette over everything! Glad you were able to get away and recharge!

  3. This salad looks soooo fabulous! Yum!

  4. Tieghan says:

    Some time a break is just needed and I am glad you got to take a mini one!!

    Love the salad and that dressing!

    • Thank you so much Teighan!It was indeed just what the Dr ordered :)

    • Thank you so much Tieghan!It was indeed just what the Dr ordered :)

  5. Jenny Flake says:

    Wow, talk about a gorgeous salad!!! Need :)

  6. naomi says:

    Yay – couple time and a kid-free vacation – we all need this now and again. Can’t wait to see the recipes coming.

  7. We all just need a break to recharge our batteries! This winter salad sounds amazing. The vinaigrette alone makes me want to run to my kitchen!

  8. What a beautiful salad! Love all those flavors!
    Your vacation sounds amazing :)

  9. Ahh this salad looks so fun and pretty!! Perfect for this time of year!

  10. Vicki B says:

    This is one fabulous salad! Mexico sounds great! Very deserved vacation for you. I’ve tutored kids in reading for years and the one mother who stood the test of time, as far as I’m concerned, is the one who refused to take calls except the most extreme emergency, like a major catastrophe, after her kids got home from school until the time they went to bed. I couldn’t believe it because this was an incredibly high powered family with a hugely successful business, both parents being the CEO and COO. Their children were without a doubt the most amazing kids ever for a variety of reasons but mostly I think because their parents gave them their undivided attention during those few hours each day. I may have have taught her children to read but she taught me so so so many things about being a mother and now a grandmother.

  11. You’ve really been playing around with some sophisticated flavors and textures recently, Heather. This is just another fantastic example of that. I love your use of RAW cranberries.

    I can’t wait to see some of your recipes and food inspired by your trip to Mexico. It sounds heavenly!

  12. Julie says:

    When I saw the photos, I thought you added chickpeas. But hazelnuts are like 20x better!!

  13. I think most of us have been MIA the last several weeks, I know I’ve been enjoying time w my fam. Everything about this salad is perfect! Love this dressing. Pinned to make ASAP! Thanks Heather!

  14. We all need a little down time from time to time. You had me at pears and hazelnuts! This salad sounds amazing!

  15. Kate says:

    I have been looking for a way to use up the measly 1/4 cup of cranberries I’ve had hanging out in my fridge for almost (shhhh……) 2 weeks now! Perfect! I’m making this salad for lunch today!