Summer Salad with Roasted Corn, Smoked Bleu Cheese, & Pear Vinaigrette

Give me ALL of the salads, please!

Lately, my body has just been craving vegetables, and I can’t be mad at it for doing so. Walking past New York City’s greenmarkets – as a proper social distance, but of course – it’s hard not to be dazzled by large summer squashes, rainbow-colored tomatoes, and sun-ripened stone fruits.

Recently, I was gifted a collection of fruit juices and nectars made in Italy, namely Yoga Pear Nectar, along with some vinaigrette recipes to make with them. I love slightly fruity dressings for my salads – I’m always one to add ample lemon to my vinaigrettes! – but the idea of adding pear nectar never crossed my mind. Pear is one of my favorite fruits, so I jumped at this opportunity. (P.S.: How adorable are these little bottles?) I was told that it pairs well with arugula and bleu cheese, so I took some liberties to create a salad that pretty damn amazing, if I do say so myself!

Summer Salad with Roasted Corn, Smoked Bleu Cheese, & Pear Vinaigrette

Also, I picked up the smoked bleu cheese by accident, and it was one of the best mistakes I’ve made in a long time. Ha! Smoked bleu cheese is superb, and I recommend keeping an eye out for it if you can find it. If not, your favorite usual bleu cheese will be just as delicious in this salad.

Summer Salad with Roasted Corn, Smoked Bleu Cheese, & Pear Vinaigrette

Note: These products from CSO Italy were gifted to me via the Sopexa Agency for editorial review; I was under no obligation to create a blog post, but this dressing was so good, I got inspired to make this salad! As always, all opinions are my own.

Summer Salad with Roasted Corn, Smoked Bleu Cheese, & Pear Vinaigrette

(Makes one large salad for salad enthusiasts like myself, but can make 3 smaller salads for side dishes)

Ingredients:

Summer Salad:

  • 3 cups greens (I used a mix of baby spinach & arugula)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 smoked bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ear corn, silk thoroughly removed and kernels stripped from cob

Pear Nectar Vinaigrette (from CSO Italy):

  • 1/3 cup pear nectar
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Before We Get Started…

  • As mentioned earlier in the post, use your favorite bleu cheese if you cannot find smoked bleu cheese.
  • I did not test this recipe with canned or frozen corn, so I cannot say how well it may roast in the skillet if you use it! Attempt at your own risk. If you prefer unroasted corn, add that to the salad. For comparison, depending on if you use fresh or canned / frozen corn, one ear usually yields roughly 1/2 of corn kernels.

Directions:

1.) In a large bowl, combine greens, tomatoes, and bleu cheese.

2.) In a non-stick skillet, roast corn kernels over medium-low heat for 2 -3 minutes or until some kernels start to slightly brown or char. Keep a close on eye on this! Remove from heat and add to salad.

3.) Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle desired amount over salad and toss to combine. Save any unused vinaigrette in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

cranberry apple sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Autumn is in full swing, with crisper mornings, darker evenings, and the near-daily HELL I face while trying to match the perfect pair of skinny pants with coordinating ankle boots. (The WORST, amirite?) One of my favorite parts of fall? All of my local farmers’ markets are laden with apples! I feel that I am a traditionalist, with my favorite kind of apple being a Macintosh. However, I enjoy walking past barrels and crates overloaded with Mutsus, Jonagolds, Honey Crisps, and Paula Reds. I get damn near overwhelmed at my options, on occasion, and just grab four or five of the best looking ones of any type.

apple sauce

New York City farmers’ markets are full of virtually anything you can think of from the agricultural world. Besides apples, I see veggies, eggs, and meats of all sorts. (One day, I’ll buy that organic duck breast from western Pennsylvania, too!) This past Sunday, however, I had to do a double take after I walked past barrel of something that I can not recall ever seeing at a farmers’ market: cranberries! Beautiful, fresh, Massachusetts-bred cranberries! The heart of this native New Englander fluttered. I had a bag full of apples in my left hand, with full intentions of making some plain ol’ applesauce. Cranberry applesauce is a recipe I enjoy making around Thanksgiving. Still, why not now?! I excitedly shuffled over and ran my hands through these ruby-esque pearls of tart fruit. I looked at the prices…and, at $6 per pound, I quickly carted myself up to my local Fine Fine and bought a pound of Ocean Spray cranberries for $2.29.

cranberries

I strongly support small businesses and the agriculture industry. I just need to cook on the cheap sometimes, just like any other Millennial in NYC with an steep rent and massive student loan payments. Haaa. Next time. Next time…

cranberry apple sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce is such a wonderful autumnal recipe. It makes a great side dish when eating pork, turkey, or chicken. It makes a great snack to keep in the fridge. Pro Tip: I love to eat it warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Try it. Thank me later.

cranberry apple sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
– 3 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ chunks
– 1 cup fresh cranberries
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1 cup water
– 1 cinnamon stick
– Juice of 1/2 lemon or two teaspoons orange juice

Before We Get Started…

– In lieu of a cinnamon stick, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried cinnamon can be substituted, depending on how much of a prevalent cinnamon flavor you prefer.

– Frozen cranberries can be used in lieu of fresh ones, but I can not emphasize enough: do not use canned cranberry sauce as a substitute!

Directions:

1.) Place all ingredients into a large sauce pan; bring to a boil.

2.) Reduce to a simmer and cook until apples are tender and cranberries have burst, approximately 30 – 40 minutes. Use a fork to mash any larger chunks of fruit still remaining.

3.) Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick.

4.) Serve immediately or cool to room temperature and store in refrigerator; this will stay fresh for about a week.