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Easy, flavorful and just so unique. This goes great with roasted pork, chops, grilled chicken, or just about anything. It makes a wonderful starter salad. I wish I knew who invented this, but looked around on the web and so so many versions. This - was the - base of this recipe and then a few changes. But it came from a small town Mississippi cookbook while visiting a few years ago. I love it.
- 4 pears, I like anjour pears (cored and cut into wedges, about 4 slices per half, leave the skin on)
- 1⁄2 head romaine lettuce, rough chopped
- 1⁄2 head iceberg lettuce, rough chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons mayonnaise (NO Miracle Whip or low fat)
- 16 gingersnaps, not the soft cookies, the hard crispy ones (10 for the dressing, 6 for the garnish)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot, fine chopped
- Gingersnaps -- Just add all the cookies to a baggie and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet. You can also use a food processor, but the baggie is so much easier. About 2/3 will go to the cream cheese dressing and 1/3 for a garnish. Just set to the side.
- Cream Cheese Dressing -- In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise and add 2/3 rd's of the ginger snaps, Mix well to combine. Set to the side room temperature.
- Dressing -- Mix the honey, orange juice and shallot. Once again, set to the side.
- Pears -- Peel the pears and cut into wedges.
- Salad -- In a medium size bowl, add the iceberg, romaine and a couple of tablespoons of the dressing and toss lightly.
- Plating -- For each plate, add the dressed lettuce, then top with 1 pear (or about 8 slices per plate) sliced in wedges and plated in a spiral around the center of the plate. Then, in the center add a spoon of the cream cheese mixture. Drizzle a little of the dressing over the pears and top with the chopped pecans and remaining gingerbread cookies.
- ENJOY! It is a sweet starter salad but it is absolutely great with the tangy cream cheese.