Pear Salad with Warm Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

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A pretty main or side, this well-balanced and vibrant salad is easy enough for lunch with a friend, impressive enough for Thanksgiving.

Riffing on my Ottolenghi-Inspired Fig Salad Medley, this version uses seasonal pear as the main “star”. Served on top of a bed of peppery baby arugula and baby spinach, with toasted walnuts, marinated goat+sheep cheese, currants and a warm honey lemon vinaigrette, it makes a well-balanced, beautiful and satisfying main dish, or smaller side salad. I served it in the backyard for a casual lunch, but I think it would be wonderful at Thanksgiving, too. I do so love pears of all kinds – they are one of my favorite things to paint – use whatever you like best, just make sure it is perfectly ripe.

Sunbathing Pair. 12×12 inch oil on canvas. Kirsten Lara Getchell. All Rights Reserved.
So pretty on top of one of my favorite platters from Handmade Studios TN.

Pear Salad with Warm Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

A pretty, vibrant, well balanced salad that is easy enough for lunch with a friend, impressive enough for Thanksgiving.
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Californian, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: dressing, easy peasy, goat cheese, ottolenghi, pears, salad, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 large pear of your choice or 2 smaller
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach rinsed and dried, if required
  • 2 big handfuls baby arugula rinsed and dried, if required
  • 1/3 cup marinated goat cheese, in big crumbles or large Parmesan shavings
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil high quality
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup currants less or more to your liking
  • 3-4 grinds fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1-2 pinches Kosher or sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Arrange the clean baby arugula and baby spinach on a platter.
  • Remove core and seed and cut pear into good bite sized chunks, or think slices, if you prefer.
  • In a small pan on medium heat, toast the chopped walnuts for just a few minutes. Do not let them brown. Remove and let cool for a minute, then add on top of the greens.
  • Distribute the currants and goat cheese on top of the greens.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together honey, olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Microwave for about 15 seconds, then stir to incorporate, making sure the honey is incorporated. Drizzle on top of the greens.
  • Add a few grinds of pepper and another sprinkle of salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

I love marinated goat+sheep cheese, but Parmesan is a wonderful complement to pear salad, too. If that's your preference, I recommended slicing the pears thin, and using a peeler to create long thin shavings of Parmesan. If you're serving it as a main, and not to vegetarians, add some thinly sliced proscuitto or speck for a salty kiss to the sweetness of the pears.
To make it a bit ahead, toss the pears in a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.

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© Kirsten Lara Getchell 2020. All rights reserved.
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