Fantastic Pear and Cheese Ball Salad

I recently was reading a friend’s Facebook post, and he was sharing that he detests vegetables and any kind of salad.  I, personally, think that is madness!!!  And have to wonder if he would change his mind if he tried this beauty!!  In fact…the last time I made this (yes, I have made it multiple times its so good!!) was on a day we were helping out at church.  Those days are tricky…being there by 7:30, leaving at 2:30…and full of food temptation.  Our pastor is generous enough to provide food for all the volunteers…and, seeing as he owns the local Cici’s Pizza restaurant…it is always greasy, cheesy, fantastically tempting pizza.  In DROVES!  Occasionally, they also provide a salad from Cici’s…but it usually includes processed dressing, meats that I am certain contain pork and nitrites…lots of fun stuff.  It really does look tasty.  But here is the best part…as everyone else was downing pizza and the fancy processed salad, I brought in this fresh salad for Mr. Rodgers and I…and everyone stopped, looked…and said things such as “Now that’s a salad,”  “You are such a good little cook,” (which cracked me up, cause there is obviously SO much cooking involved in making a salad,) and “WHAT?!  You got avocados?!”  It cracked me up, and made me feel proud.  Especially as their forks kept entering our bowl, to pick off avocados and cheese balls.  The memory still makes me smile 😉

Are you intrigued?  I swear by it…it is definitely worth trying 😀  And making…again and again and again!  Let’s get to it!

This recipe was so good as is, I stuck pretty close to the directions!!  So I must admit, it is just ever so slightly adapted from perfectweightamerica.com.

Note: this is a recipe that requires a bit of planning ahead!  For best results, go through your first 3 steps an hour before serving 🙂

Here’s what you need:

For the Salad:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Pear
  • 2 Hearts of Romaine (Or lettuce of choice!)
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 12 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 Green Onions, sliced
  •  1/2 C Almonds

Dressing:

A recipe of your favorite vinaigrette, or if you want to keep it simple and healthy, you can make the “Maker’s Diet Basic Vinaigrette” with

  •  1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Herbamare Seasoning

If you have never heard of Herbamare Seasoning…it is quite magical and you should try it!!!  It is like salt kicked up a notch…and totally natural!!  Here’s what you’re looking for 🙂

Grilled Chicken Chickpea Salad 1

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Take your almonds, and place them in a small food processor, and pulse until they are very finely chopped.  Dump into a shallow bowl.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mustard, cheddar, and green onion.
  3. Take small spoonfuls of the cheese mixture, roll it into balls.  This works surprisingly well..I expected it to get all over my hands.  But it was barely messy and rolled very well!!
  4. Take each cheese ball and roll it in the almonds to make a coating 🙂  Place them in a single layer on a platter and put them in the fridge.  Let chill for an hour or so.
  5. Get your romaine, and chop into bite sized pieces.
  6. Whisk together your vinaigrette!
  7. Slice the avocado and pear right before serving, or if you are using a vinaigrette with lemon juice in it…you can slice the avocado and pear earlier in the process, and cover them with the vinaigrette to prevent browning.
  8. Place the lettuce on your serving plates, top with avocado and pear slices and your crusted cheese balls…drizzle on some dressing…and impress the hungry people at your table 🙂  Enjoy salad like you have never had it before!!

Start by processing your almonds, so they will make a nice fine, crunchy coating for your cheese balls.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad

Put the Ricotta, cheddar, Dijon, and green onions together in a bowl.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 2Stir it together till combined well.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 3

Roll mixture into balls, and roll in the almonds to create a coating.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 5

Place in a single layer and let  chill in refrigerator for about an hour.  This is about half of what my recipe made.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 4

Thinly slice avocado and pear.  If you are not serving immediately, cover with a vinaigrette that has lemon in it.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 6

Place your lettuce on serving plates and top with avocado, pear, and cheese balls, and drizzle with dressing.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 7

Isn’t it pretty?!  Here’s a close up of the deliciousness that you NEED to partake in 😉

Pear, Avocado, Chees Ball Salad 8

So fresh and tasty!  The sweetness of the pear against the creaminess of the cheese.  You know…sour cream and onion is one of my favorite junk food flavors…perhaps that is why I love these cheese balls…the green onion with the Ricotta is reminiscent of a healthier version of it.  And of course, the avocado is a gem…which was evidenced by the thieves sticking their forks into our salad bowl 😉  I do so hope you enjoy!! 🙂

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