When the weather is cold, I gravitate to comfort foods like hot soups, hearty casseroles and savory stews. Salads aren’t usually the top of my list, but my pear bacon pecan salad is so full of fresh and delicious flavors, I make it all year long. The fresh pears perfectly combine with the smoky bacon, crunchy pecans and creamy garlic parmesan dressing. It’s a simple dish to put together, but the flavors are complex. This salad is great as a side dish or even a light dinner.

Belle’s Pear Bacon Pecan Salad with Garlic Parmesan Dressing

3 cups lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces

3 cups spinach, cut into bite sized pieces

1 large pear, cored and cut into bite sized pieces

5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

½ cup glazed pecans, chopped

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

2 to 3 tablespoons of milk

Place the lettuce and spinach in a large bowl. Add the pear, bacon and pecans and toss to mix. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, cheese, garlic powder and pepper until smooth. Add a small amount of milk and whisk until it is thin enough to drizzle. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to mix. Serve immediately.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.talesofthedinnerbelle.com.

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