Pear and candied pecan salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

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 2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
 1 cup pecan halves
 ¼ cup sugar
 4 cups baby Romaine leaves
 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced shallot
 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
 ¼ cup reserved pomegranate juice (from the pears above)
 2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
 2 Tbsp. agave syrup or honey
 ½ cup olive oil
 Salt and pepper to taste

Put the pears in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with the pomegranate juice, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.  Drain; reserve ¼ cup of the pomegranate juice.
In a small, non-stick skillet, stir the sugar and pecans over medium heat until the sugar is melted and coats the pecans.  Turn out onto waxed paper or a silicone pad and let cool. 
Make the vinaigrette:  Put the shallot in a large bowl; add the white wine vinegar and allow them to marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.  Whisk in the reserved pomegranate juice, the mustard, the agave syrup or honey.  Slowly add the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove ¼ cup of the dressing from the bowl and reserve.
Add the lettuce to the large bowl and toss to combine.  Divide the lettuce among 6 plates.  Top each serving with a portion of the pears, pecans, goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds.  Drizzle remaining dressing on top of the salads or pass it separately.

Yields: 6