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You might think that fried cheese would defeat the purpose of a salad but a variety of flavor combinations makes this appetizer one to remember. The cheese gives great saltiness and melts in your mouth while the pear offers a nice sweetness. The dressing is an idea conjured from the book “In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food” by Stewart Lee Allen. There, the author shared a great tip for a pignoli sauce by soaking pine nuts in red wine vinegar for four hours.
Step 1. In a small bowl add walnuts, balsamic vinegar and honey and let the nuts soak for 30 minutes. After, puree contents of bowl in a blender and add olive oil and water and blend again. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt and ground black pepper. The dressing should be thick because of the walnuts. If needed, add a little more olive oil and water.
Step 2. Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat. Once hot, add queso blanco and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cheese is crispy and not melted. Remove cheese from pan and with a sharp knife. Cube cheese to small squares.
Step 3. In a large bowl add spinach leaves, pear, fried cheese cubes and croutons. Lightly spoon dressing over and mix. Enjoy!
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