It’s always good to have a few hard to mess up, easy to make, and tasty recipes. Dishes that are pretty simple but taste kind of impressive and a little special. The types of recipes that can be confidently made for any special occasion. For me, that recipe is a spring green salad topped with strawberries, sliced pear, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts. Finished with a balsamic vinaigrette, this salad – in my opinion – is perfect. It looks pretty and the sweetness of the fruit balances out the blue cheese. Without question, this salad is a first choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner menu.
I generally feel pretty indifferent to all things Valentine’s Day, but I always love an excuse to make a fun dinner! It’s pretty well documented that going out to eat on holidays is generally terrible, and Valentine’s Day maybe the worst day of all. The cause of all the holiday restaurant misery is that everyone has the same idea – to go out to eat. If you aren’t a planner, this makes finding a table or reservation daunting. When you finally get to the restaurant, there are special menus with inflated prices and stressed out restaurant staff rushing you through your meal to keep the tables turning. These issues make a great case for staying at home and making a dinner for two! If you are anything like me, making food someone is conveniently your best and favorite way of showing how much you care about them. 🙂
Thanks to a really good sale on rib-eye steaks and lobster tails at Whole Foods, I went for a proper surf n’ turf dinner this year. I cannot recommend this recipe for pan-seared rib-eye steaks with a porcini and rosemary rub enough. I’m starting suspect dried porcini mushrooms are a magical ingredient that makes everything taste perfect. With such a heavy dinner, a light salad was a must! So, I went for my standby spring green salad. Technically, I think the boxed lettuce I used said Summer Greens, but I doubt there’s a big difference.
This recipe is written as a side salad for two, but it is easy to double. You could also just make one big salad for yourself. It is challenging at times to find ripe pears, so they can be omitted in a pinch. The skin of some pears can be tough, gritty, and bitter. To avoid those issues, I always buy D’Anjou pears, because they seem to be the best to eat without peeling. If you want to try a different type of pear, you may want to consider removing the peel. While I made this salad for a special occasion type of dinner, it’s perfectly good for regular dinners, lunches, brunches, and really any time you can find nice strawberries and a ripe pear!