This time of year can really test your healthy eating habits. With cookie exchanges, party nibbles, and extra cocktail consumption, holiday season is full of temptation. Fortunately when it comes to main events like Thanksgiving, we’re usually helping in the kitchen. I always like to make sure there’s some balance to the heavier foods and sweets with some lighter, nutritious sides. This sautéed pear and caramelized onion salad is super simple to make and works great alongside traditional holiday flavors; it’s a recent favorite of ours so you can bet it makes an appearance on the table this time next week. Roasted pepitas give it a bit of crunch, and the cranberries a touch of sweet. Dress the greens with balsamic dressing, and you’re all set. Intimidated by caramelizing onions? Read these common mistakes. Hope you enjoy!
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pear, thinly sliced
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of roasted pepitas
Balsamic dressing (homemade or store bought)
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onions and let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden brown. Caramelization takes about 30 minutes. Drizzle with extra olive oil or add a bit of water if needed to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan and to deglaze the brown bits. Season well with salt and pepper.
2. In a second skillet over medium-low heat, saute the pear slices just until slightly softened and warmed, about 5 minutes.
3. In a serving bowl, toss greens and baby spinach with dressing. Top with the pears and caramelized onions, cranberries and pepitas.