Fresh Ideas
Pear Salad by Chef Michael Smith

Roast Pear & Arugula Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette & Spiced Walnuts

Sep 12, 2016

© Chef Michael Smith 2016

This snappy salad is packed with familiar fall flavours. It’s dressy enough for a weekend dinner party yet simple enough for a weekday supper. Either way, it’s a great way to show off the savoury side of pears and easily fill Half Your Plate with fruits and vegetables!

Serves 4

For the walnuts

1 egg white
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of your favourite hot sauce
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
2 cups (500 mL) of walnut halves

For the vinaigrette

2 tablespoons (30 mL) of your best olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt

For the pears

4 ripe pears
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
lots of freshly ground pepper

For the salad

a small 5-ounce tote of baby arugula
1 red onion, thinly sliced

 

Pear Salad by Chef Michael SmithPreheat your oven to 350ºF. Turn on your convection fan if you have one. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. In a pinch you can oil the tray lightly.

Begin with the walnuts. Whisk together the egg white, honey, cloves, cornstarch, hot sauce and salt until frothy. Toss in the walnuts until they’re evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer on the baking pan and bake until crisp and delicious, 10 minutes or so. Cool until needed.

Whisk together the vinaigrette in a mixing bowl or measure all the ingredients into a covered mason jar and shake until smooth.

Just before serving roast the pears. Preheat your broiler. Carefully cut the fruit into quarters lengthwise and trim away the internal stem and seeds with a small angled cut. Toss gently and evenly with the oil, salt and pepper. Arrange neatly on a baking tray with skin side down. (You can use the tray from the walnuts) Broil until lightly browned and delicious, 7 minutes or so. Serve warm.

Assemble the salad. Toss the greens and red onion with the dressing until evenly coated. Arrange with the pears and top with walnuts. Serve and share!

Kitchen Tips

You can prep the salad dressing and walnuts days in advance. You can even roast the pears ahead of time and simply serve them cool. Wait until the last second to dress the salad though so it doesn’t wilt. Keep an eye on the pears as you roast them, the more they brown the better they’ll taste.

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