RECIPE: Winter Pear Salad with Creamy Hemp Vinaigrette

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You can create an amazingly delicious salad dressing by simply combining hemp oil and balsamic vinegar. But if you’re looking for something a little fancier, check out this surprisingly easy recipe for a creamy hemp vinaigrette.  High in Omega-3 and essential fatty acids, this dressing will add a nutritious zing to any salad, and adds the perfect flavor to our especially yummy new take on traditional winter pear salad.

Creamy Hemp Vinaigrette 

  • 1 1/4 cups hemp oil (for a milder flavor, use 1 cup olive oil and ¼ cup hemp oil)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp minced shallot
  • ½ Tsp minced garlic
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ½ Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts

Combine all ingredients except hemp oil and hemp hearts in a blender and puree on low speed until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add hemp oil and puree until mixed – it should be a creamy, thick consistency. Transfer to a jar or other airtight container and mix in hemp hearts with a spoon. Serve fresh or store in the refrigerator for later use. Note: this dressing should stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a week. However, it will thicken considerably. To thin it out, heat gently by microwave, stove-top, or let sit on your counter before serving; do not re-refrigerate after heating)

Red Chile Winter Pear Salad (serves 4-6)

  • 2 firm Bosc pears
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red chile powder*
  • 12 oz mixed greens
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 cup candied walnuts or pecans
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Creamy hemp dressing

*If you can’t find red chile powder locally, you can order it online or simply omit from recipe

Raw pears sprinkled with seasoning

Raw pears sprinkled with seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pears in half and remove seeds with a melon baller or a knife. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red chile powder on pears. Heat olive oil in oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place pears face down and cook for about 3-4 minutes. When nicely browned, turn pears over, and sprinkle brown sugar on pears. Carefully pour balsamic vinegar over pears. Transfer skillet to oven (you can also transfer to a roasting pan at this point if you prefer, first pouring sauce in pan over pears) and cook for 12-14 minutes or until the pears are easily pierced with a knife. Cool and cut into strips.

Place lettuce in salad bowls and sprinkle with gorgonzola and nuts. Top with roasted pears and creamy hemp dressing.