Salad with pear, caramelized walnuts and dressing with roasted garlic

salad pear

Mid-December and I’ve been living on salads for the whole week now.  I know, not really seasonal…  But it’s probably due to the fact that there is still no snow around here. And also, my body knows very well that there are some difficult days ahead. In terms of holidays and food, of course. I guess, it decided on its own to have a mini detox.

This recipe I picked up a few years ago in some magazine while I was in Canada. Walnuts were obviously caramelised on maple syrup, if anyone’s for an upgrade. Also, a slice of smoked trout or smoked salmon would go nice with it. The trick is, of course, in the dressing. And roasted garlic.

salad pear-2

Salad with pear, walnuts and yogurt dressing with roasted garlic

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

Mixed seasonal salad
2 pears (or apples)
2 handfuls of walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp agave or maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
200 ml of plain yogurt
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
5 cloves of roasted garlic (we need a whole garlic*)
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
sliced ​​smoked salmon or trout (optional)

* I recommend to do a bigger quantity of roasted garlic, because it doesn’t reallly make sense to heat the oven just for one. Roasted garlic can be used in salad dressings, on crostinis, as a condiment. Keep it in fridge.


  1. Cut the whole garlic horizontally – all the garlic cloves should have the tops cut off. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil, pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bent the edges of the aluminium sheet towards the inside. Place it on a baking sheet and bake at 150-160 ° C for about 45 minutes.
  2. Heat the pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot enough, add the walnuts. Fry 1 minute, constantly stirring. Pour over the agave or maple syrup, then add the sweet paprika and salt.
  3. Prepare the dressing: using a fork mash 5 cloves of roasted garlic, add yogurt, grated parmesan, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the pears lengthwise and place on top of the salad. Pour over the yogurt dressing and sprinkle with roasted walnuts.
  5. You can also add slices of smoked salmon or smoked trout, but that’s an option.

This recipe was made for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.

Easy green

I would say that Slovenians, we’re a salad nation. It sounds funny, but if there’s no salad in your meal, your meal just doesn’t feel complete. And for me a good salad is often enough to make a perfect meal.

When making salads, I follow couple of simple rules: it has to be colorful, needs to have different textures and flavors and has to be a play between sweet and sour.

The main rule for composing big salads is: crunchy base vegetable + one or two colorful accessories + some crunchy details or/and cheese.

As far as dressing is concerned, it should always taste more slaty and sour. That’s how it will be perfect on your salad. And my basic rule is: never put white dressing on cheese.



Colorful accessories.

I love putting fruits in salads. They add wonderful color and flavor. Oranges are superb in green salads. Just don’t forget to take off all that white skin.

Avocado is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. It is a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and vitamins B. It has high level of fat, but it’s good vegetable unsaturated fat. There’s about 15 g of fat in 100 g of avocado. You can easily use it as butter replacement in your other recipes.

Avocados are picked hard and green and will ripen properly at room temperature in one to two weeks. If you buy them hard and don’t want to eat them straightaway, keep them in fridge. If you want them to get ripe more quickly, put them next to bananas. And yes, you should always have them on stock!


Crunchy stuff: nuts and seeds

Black cumin seeds always remind me of my trip to Egypt where we had wonderful bread with black cumin seeds in the morning. It was years ago and at that time I had no idea what it was. I’ve just remembered the taste. Since I’ve rediscovered it, it’s my favorite thing on oranges and goat cheese.

Couple of crushed nuts like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, roasted or not, will give your salad a full rounded body. Salted roasted whole almonds add crunchy and a bit rustic flavor.


Soft goat cheese





  • salad greens
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • handful roasted almonds (in shells)
  • goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • lemon thyme (optional)
  • black cumin seed to sprinkle
  • salt, pepper


  1. Cut avocado chunks. Peel and cut oranges. Remove white skins.
  2. Roughly crush almonds.
  3. Make dressing. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Assemble green salad, avocado chunks and oranges, rough pieces of cheese. Sprinkle with almonds, cumin seeds. Top with  dressing.

salmon greens with soy orange dressing

It’s pretty colorless during winter here. That’s why I love spring in Ljubljana. I feel it coming. Sun, birds, flowers, riding my bike, people smiling everywhere… I love it! And what’s more, everything gets so colorful!

That reminded me of Tri express in Montreal, where I’ve eaten one of the best sushi ever. Full of colors, surprising combinations and tastes that pop up in your mouth. Pure magic!

So that’s how I came up with salmon salad with soy orange dressing…



Smoked salmon salad with orange soy dressing:

serves 1

  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/3 apple
  • 2 Tsp soy sauce
  • chives


  1. Slice very thin stripes of apple and zucchini; slice avocado as thin as possible.
  2. Squeeze half orange, add soy sauce.
  3. Combine all ingredients on a plate, add dressing and sprinkle with chives.