Today’s Foodie Friday post comes from Jenna, the blogger @ The Gleeful Gourmand. Wondering what being a “gourmand” means? For Jenna, It simply means that she love every aspect of food: Cooking or baking it, reading about it, studying it, learning from it, and most of all, writing about it. At The Gleeful Gourmand you’ll find stories about food, recipes, book reviews, restaurant reviews, and a little about the life she share with her husband, 6-year-old son and identical twin toddler girls. Now that’s one busy mama.

Just last week I was blogging about a particular problem: What to make when you’re stuck in an Indian Summer in Virginia, and you want all things gloriously Autumn (hello, Pumpkin Spice Lattes!), but it’s just too darned hot. I can officially say that I am so excited that the weather turned here in RVA, and we’ve finally got Fall temperatures.


But let’s be honest: This is Virginia, and the weather here is kind of…wacky. It wouldn’t be unusual at all for temperatures here to soar again with no rhyme or reason. Thus, I came up with a riff on a salad I had at Brio Tuscan Grille. I used their concept as a launching pad (they used apples and all sorts of other yummy stuff), but changed it to suit our family. The Autumn Pear Salad was born. Full of crisp, cool crunch, but hearty enough to serve for dinner, it’s perfect paired with a glass of Chardonnay and a crusty baguette slathered with soft butter.

What makes this dish so versatile is that besides serving it up for dinner, it would be perfect for a brunch, or luncheon – especially when you’re craving a lot of flavor, but don’t want to work too hard. Plus, you can literally change this salad up and add or subtract any ingredient (well, maybe not the lettuce portion) to make it your own. I chose ingredients I knew my family would be happy eating, but you can spruce it up any way you see fit!


Autumn Pear Salad

  • 2 heads of crisp romaine lettuce
  • 1 small package of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 Asian Pears, sliced thinly (wash, but do not peel)
  • Half a package of frozen corn, prepared to your liking*
  • 5 slices of crispy bacon, chopped
  • 1 herbed rotisserie chicken diced, or sliced thinly
  • Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese (slight dusting, a little goes a very long way)

Click here for direction and for a Italian Vinaigrette recipe

Enjoy <3  – Jenna