This Pan Roasted Pear Salad is a fall favorite. Try adding some sliced chicken breast for a casual dinner too!
At the grocery store yesterday, I had a full cart and a new hire on my hands.
His extremely friendly and helpful demeanor was a dead giveaway 🙂
This was not a good combination because I was already at-the-end-of-my-rope stressed out.
I should have run, but my sourdough baguette was already on the conveyor belt.
First, he grabbed the flowers a little too hard and water spurted out everywhere, including all over the other groceries.
Things went downhill quick.
The wrap came off the tortilla bag as he struggled to scan it, the protective masking tape wouldn’t stick on my container of hummus, and the cherry tomatoes tumbled all over the place due to a torn paper bag.
It didn’t end there.
The poor kid had a terrible time figuring out all my fruits and vegetables.
It was like a game show – what type of apples are these? Are the bananas organic? Is this a yam or a sweet potato? Does anyone have a code for the mushrooms?
When he was finally done a good 20 minutes later, we were both exhausted.
I got home, popped open a cold low-carb beer, and suddenly, everything was much better 🙂
We are in knee-deep Pumpkin Spice Season, folks, but there’s still time for salad in your autumn repertoire.
Specifically, a wonderful pan roasted pear one with crunchy greens, easy candied walnuts and soft goat cheese.
The main photo here shows one way to serve this succulent beauty of a salad, but you can also cut the finished pears in chunks and toss the ingredients together carefully with the vinaigrette.
Next stop? The couch.
Wonder Woman is on Netflix and Ben and Jerry are waiting in the freezer 🙂
- Serves 4-6
- 2-3 pears, quartered and cored (8 oz) Note: I used Barlett pears
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped leek (you could also use a shallot)
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 cups red or regular butter lettuce (about 6 ounces) torn in 2" pieces
- 1/2 head radicchio, sliced in ribbons
- 1/4 cup flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
- 4 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
- Candied walnuts (recipe follows)
- CANDIED NUTS
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- PAN ROAST THE PEARS
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pears with 2 teaspoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Heat a medium (12 inch) non-stick skillet, melt the butter and place the pears in the pan, cut side down in a single layer on medium-high heat.
- Cook until golden, about 2-4 minutes, carefully turning the pears with a small spatula to caramelize the other cut sides, another 2-4 minutes per side.
- Turn heat off and with the skillet still sitting on the burner, add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, gently coating the pears with the glaze.
- Carefully remove the pears and transfer to a plate or dish to cool for 30-45 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, the teaspoon of honey, and the tablespoon of chopped leek. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the lettuce, radicchio and parsley to the bowl, toss gently and divide between individual serving plates, top each portion with 2-3 pieces of the pan roasted pear, the candied walnuts, and the goat cheese. Serve immediately.
- TO MAKE THE CANDIED NUTS
- In a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, melt the butter in the pan and add the sugar and nuts, gently combining everything together using a non-stick spatula.
- Continue cooking, stirring frequently to avoid burning. The sugar and butter will turn dark and syrupy, keep tossing gently in the pan to coat all the nuts. The process takes about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the nuts to a piece of parchment paper and let them cool until ready to use.
SOURCE: Studio Delicious, adapted from Cooks Illustrated.