Cooking Adventures

Easy Peasy Gourmet Salad

Now, I’m no Jamie Oliver that can whip up a 3-course meal in 15minutes but I’m very happy to say that I’ve found a salad recipe that is can be made in 10minutes tops.

And the best part? It even has a gourmet slant to it that would definitely please the crowd!

So read on for this quick and short post for a quick and short salad recipe!

Manchego & Pear Salad with Maple-Glazed Walnuts
Manchego & Pear Salad with Maple-Glazed Walnuts

I was thinking of making a salad for a fellowship gathering at church when I came across this salad recipe comes from another blog that I frequent.

The idea of caramelising your own walnuts sounded really interesting and I never had manchego cheese before. Plus, the dressing was sooooo simple. So with a unique combination of ingredients and an easy-peasy method, that settled my salad choice!

Salad ingredients
Salad ingredients

As you can tell from the above picture, the walnuts are really the star of the salad, or so I find! As also warned in Sarah’s recipe, I found it really hard to stop picking at the candied walnuts before completing the salad… oops! I reckon it makes a great snack on its own – a healthier version to caramel popcorn, perhaps?

Sarah goes into detail on how she toasts the walnuts in maple syrup so please check out her post for the method. I followed it really closely but I omitted the dash of salt. I reckon you all should give it a try because I’m sure the salt will lift up the taste of the caramelised walnuts.

As the crowd found it, they thought the salad to be really refreshing and light. The pear slices offered a sweet juicy counter to the acidic lemon juice while the maple-glazed walnuts gave that pleasant crunch to the salad. I also found that using a good quality olive oil enhanced the flavours of the salad.

Easy-peasy salad with that gourmet touch
Easy-peasy salad with that gourmet touch

Overall, the flavours were all very simple and easy on the palate – even the manchego cheese tasted like a lighter version of cheddar, with a slight woody flavour.

The full ingredient and method list is up on Sarah’s blog but I thought I would put down my proportions for the salad, just to give you an idea 😉

Manchego & Pear Salad with Maple-Glazed Walnuts (serves 4) 

(Recipe by Sarah Cooks)


  • walnuts – enough to cover your frying pan
  • maple-flavoured syrup (or if you’re feeling decadent, pure maple syrup)
  • 1 pear
  • 120g mixed salad leaves
  • 50g (approx) manchego cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality one, like Cobram Estate)
  • salt
  • pepper

So if you’re looking for that no-fuss salad recipe that would get the crowd’s tastebuds going, I would highly recommend this recipe.

It is a little decadent as walnuts and manchego cheese are not that cheap but for that once-in-a-while indulgence for something healthy and crowd-pleasing, I would say, why not!

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