Ginger Cookie and Cream Cheese Pear Salad

"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."
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Ready In:
4-6 Individual Salads


  • 4 pears, I like anjour pears (cored and cut into wedges, about 4 slices per half, leave the skin on)
  • 12 head romaine lettuce, rough chopped
  • 12 head iceberg lettuce, rough chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 12 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
  • Dressing

  • 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.

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<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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