Melissa’s Menu: Gorgonzola and pear salad

 This week on Melissa's Menu is perfect for a fresh start to the year. For a healthy lunch or dinner, try this gorgonzola and pear salad. (Photo courtesy of Delish.com)

This week on Melissa's Menu is perfect for a fresh start to the year. For a healthy lunch or dinner, try this gorgonzola and pear salad. (Photo courtesy of Delish.com)

Since it’s the beginning of a new semester and the new year, it’s the perfect time for a fresh start. Eating healthy and being conscious of what you put into your body is really important. It reduces risk for chronic diseases and can improve brain and bodily functions. Resisting unhealthy junk foods can be difficult, which is why this week’s recipe is a salad that will actually leave you satisfied and wanting more. Finding foods that are healthy and actually really delicious can be hard, but I can guarantee that with this gorgonzola and pear chicken salad you will have the best of both worlds!

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. arugula
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. cider vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced
  • 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 c. pecans

Directions

Wash arugula and chill before serving. For the dressing, in a small jar, combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and oil. Shake vigorously and keep in fridge until ready to serve. Prepare a station to bread chicken cutlets using three medium bowls. One bowl for breadcrumbs, another bowl for mixture of eggs and 1 tbsp. water and one bowl for flour. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add each piece of chicken to flour until fully coated and shake off excess, then dip into egg mixture and lastly coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat steps for each chicken cutlet and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add two pieces of chicken and fry till golden brown, about three to four minutes per side. Place on a plate lined with paper towels and immediately season with salt and pepper while it's still warm. Add another tbsp. butter and olive oil and repeat for last two pieces of chicken. Let chicken rest for about five minutes and then slice into 1/2 pieces. In a large platter, arrange salad with bed of arugula, pears, blue cheese and pecans. Top with slices of chicken and drizzle with dressing.

The flavor combinations in this salad are amazing. The savory chicken, sweetness from the pears and pecans and saltiness from the cheese satisfies all of your cravings in a healthy way. This salad is much more than just lettuce, it will actually feel like a real meal. Still intimidated by eating healthy? Try this salad and you’ll change your mind.


Melissa Scrivani is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.