Cashew Pear Tossed Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

This salad dressing recipe is the reason I never buy bottled dressings, full of preservatives, any more.  It is fresh and delicious and really easy to make in a small food processor – although a wire whisk does the trick too.  If you have a processor, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in the bowl, cover, and drizzle the oil into the dressing through the holes in the top while the processor is running.  Your dressing will be thick and luscious without any separating.  It keeps several days in the refrigerator, although you may want to let it warm a little before serving.
My husband wanted to make sure there were leftovers, so we could have it again tomorrow.  This dressing is going into my regular rotation.  I may try some honey instead of sugar next time.
Cashew Pear Tossed Salad
  1             Bunch  Romaine Lettuce -- torn
  4             Ounces  Swiss Cheese – shredded or chunks
  1             Cup  Salted Cashews
  1             Medium  Pear -- thinly sliced (Try apple too)
     1/2      Cup  Dried Cranberries
Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
     2/3      Cup  Olive Oil
     1/2      Cup  Sugar
     1/3      Cup  Lemon Juice
  3            Teaspoons  Poppy Seeds
  2            Teaspoons  Red Onion -- finely chopped (or any kind you have)
  1            Teaspoon  Prepared Mustard (I used Dijon)
     1/2     Teaspoon  Salt
In large salad bowl, combine the salad ingredients.
In a bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.  Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.
(Or combine the dressing in a small food processor, drizzling in oil through holes in top.)
5 Servings
  "Taste of Home Winning Recipes”

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