I´m so excited as this is the first time I´ve taken part in a blog event! Nuría over at Spanish Recipes is hosting a new bimonthly event Eating Good Feeling Good which will look at a different ingredient from the Food Pyramid in each event. The first ingredient of this month´s event is olive oil and I knew as soon as I saw it I knew which recipe I would be submitting!
Living in Spain I have been converted to olive oil and use it every day in my cooking from frying to salad dressings.I even use it for Chinese stir-frys!! My favourite ways to use olive oil is for frying and in salad dressings. However, I still can´t get used to putting it on toast in the mornings for breakfast and I prefer a mild olive oil as it doesn´t have quite as strong a taste as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, so it is more versatile and can be used in all types of dishes. Although olive oil is very good for your health, it is still a fat and I only use a little when frying-one bottle lasts me for at least a month!I believe that olive oil is good for your health because it is rich is monounsaturated fats which lower the risk of coronary heart disease and it actually lowers the cholesterol in your body.
Anyway, although olive oil is not strictly the main ingredient in this recipe, it is a very important ingredient in the recipe. As the days are starting to get warmer (at least they were!) sometimes it´s too hot to be slaving over a hot oven, so a salad is just what you need. And what could be healthier than a salad? The idea for this salad came from a recipe I saw for Goat´s cheese and Cherry salad in Allrecipes which I adapted to what I had in my fridge at the time and it has become a firm favourite. I think the flavours just blend together really well, the tart sweetness of the cranberries and pear with the crisp tang of the lettuce leaves and the creamy bite of the goats cheese.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main dish)
85g bag of mixed salad (baby leaf salad is particularly good)
1 medium/large ripe Conference pear, peeled and chopped
1/3-1/2 cup dried cranberries
55g goats cheese, chopped or crumbled
a couple of slices (smoked) ham or turkey, chopped (optional)
pinch of salt to taste
about 1 tbsp mild olive oil
about 1 tsp red wine vinegar
1. Place ingredients in a bowl.
2. Season with salt and dress with the olive oil and red wine vingear. Toss to cover salad completely with the dressing.