Hot Chef's Salad with Warm and Tangy Creamy Pear Dressing

Sometimes I crave salad. Sometimes I crave hot and gooey cheese. Sometimes I know I should be eating a salad, but the gooey cheese craving is all I can think about. After lots of entertaining and ritual holiday stuffings of thyself, not the turkey (ah-hem.. watch the turkey comment!), the salad meal keeps niggling at the brain. To make it even more difficult, it's cold outside and there's no instant or homemade soup on hand and I'm craving something that will warm me up and make me feel good. (Carrot sticks are out of the question!) Solution? Combine hot gooey cheese on TOP of the salad. Now we're making some progress. This is what I did the other day for lunch. I went for the lazy woman's "microwave it!" method, nonetheless efficient in warming the ingredients with minimum clean up. Positive point.

It does a great job of melting the cheese in minimal time. Positive point.

It doesn't constitute as a gourmet French meal. Negative Point? Nah. Who cares, it's a lunch date with me, myself and Fitness magazine, a tight squeeze around the table. The magazine with its "Lose Every Bulge in 3 Weeks" article was taking up way too much space. (There is just no way any diet could get me to lose all my bulges in just 3 weeks. As a matter of fact, I don't think the world's best plastic surgeon and liposuction could do it either!)

While I could seriously criticize this article here, I won't. I'll get back to the fun stuff, hot toppings for a sinfully guilt-free salad.

Combining mayonnaise with sweet William Pear Jam from Vergers de Gasocgne, makes for a creamy, tangy and tasteful dressing.

The ingredients:
1 Cup chopped endive lettuce
1 small tomato chopped or diced
3 slices of cheese or your choice (the type used for making sandwiches)
1 slice of ham, turkey or chicken breast (type used for sandwiches), chopped
1 egg, either hard boiled or microwaved (as used in this method)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Vergers de Gascogne Pear Jam
1 teaspoon olive oil, extra virgin
salt and pepper to taste

Spread chopped endive on a plate; toss with ham; In microwave proof bowl, cook egg on high for one minute or until cooked through; add to endive and ham; toss.

Layer cheese over entire salad; microwave for 1-2 minutes on high until cheese is melted evenly over salad. While salad is warming, chop tomato, set aside. Combine mayonnaise, jam oil and salt in small microwaveable cup; whisk thoroughly.

Remove salad from microwave top with chopped tomatoes. Microwave dressing for 30 seconds on high, stir well and pour over salad.

Serve with nice warm multi-grain roll, biscuit or bagel; finish with an orange or tangerine cut into wedges.


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