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FOOD FUN: Vertical Pear Salad

Jessica, from The Novice Chef Blog, isn’t such a novice. She designed this elegant pear salad that is easy in its execution, yet dazzling on the table.

You can vary the filling, the color of the pear, and/or the vinaigrette.

If you prefer, you can make candied nuts instead of simply toasting them.

For more vertical salads, see our vertical veggie ideas.
 
RECIPE: VERTICAL PEAR SALAD

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 smooth skinned pears)
  • 2-3 cups watercress, arugula or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond, pecan or walnut halves (how to toast nuts)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (substitute blue or goat cheese)
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinaigrette dressing
  • Optional plate garnish: pomegranate arils
  •  
    For The Vinaigrette

      Pear & Blue Cheese
    So elegant, so easy: a vertical pear salad from The Novice Chef Blog.
     
    This salad begs for a sweeter vinaigrette. Use champagne, raspberry, sherry or white balsamic vinegars. Walnut oil is heavenly in this type of vinaigrette, but good olive oil is fine.

    Another option is to add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (a nice fall touch) to your usual vinaigrette.

    Whichever you choose, choose a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

    Here’s the best technique to make a vinaigrette that holds together without separating.
     
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the pears horizontally into 3 or 4 slices depending on the size. Leave the stem on the top piece.

    2. USE a paring knife to remove the cores, creating a “donut hole” in the middle. Brush the cut sides with lemon juice to keep them from browning. When you’re ready to serve…

    3. MOISTEN the watercress, pecans and blue cheese with the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

    4. ASSEMBLE the pears on individual plates, with the watercress salad in between each slice.

    5. DRIZZLE the vinaigrette on the plate around the pear, and serve.
     
     
    Thanks, Jessica: You rock!
      




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