a year in food and life

Roasted pear salad with walnuts and parmesan June 2, 2007

Filed under: food,salads,Uncategorized,veggies — superspark @ 2:37 pm


The equation for my favorite type of salad goes something like this:

favorite salad= greens + fruit + cheese + nuts

I’ve been told by some nay-sayers that to call such a meal a “salad” is a misnomer and that it is actually better classified as dessert. Such negativity. No matter the name, almost any salad variation that fits this equation appeals to me. My classic combination, so over-made in my house as to be a staple at this point, combines mixed baby greens, craisins, walnuts, and gorgonzola and is topped with a light vinaigrette dressing.

Even those of us who like to eat the same thing day in and day out can use a change every now and then, though, and when I spotted this salad in The New Best Recipe (from the America’s Test Kitchen/ Cooks Illustrated crew) I knew it wouldn’t be long before it was on our table. I’ll admit, making this one is a bit more involved than my usual stand-by, mostly because of the added time spent roasting the pears. But oh my, how delicious are roasted pears?! I don’t even like pears very much ordinarily, but dipped in sugar and roasted so that they lightly caramelize, these pears were warm and soft, sweet and meaty. It was all I could do not to gobble them all up while preparing the rest of the salad.

As simple as can be, the combination of pears, parmesan, and walnuts was just lovely and the dressing was light and unobtrusive, letting the flavors of the ingredients shine through. While it won’t replace my beloved craisin, walnut, and gorgonzola salad as my favorite, quick go-to lunch, I’ll definitely be making this special salad again soon.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging which returns home this week to Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Roasted pear salad with walnuts and parmesan (serves 4-6)


Roasted pears:
4 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

1-2 bunches of baby greens or arugula, washed (about 7 cups)
parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 cup walnuts, chopped coarse and toasted over low heat until fragrant (about 3 minutes)

1. Adjust an oven rack to a low-middle position, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat oven to 500.

2. For the pears: peel and halve each pear lengthwise. Remove the core with a melon baller. Set each half cut-side down and slice lengthwise into fifths. Put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the butter and sugar. Spread the pears in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet and roast until browned on the bottom (10 minutes or less). Flip each slice and roast until tender and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3. For the vinaigrette: whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste together in a small bowl.

4. For the salad: combine the greens, roasted pear slices, and cheese in a large serving bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.


8 Responses to “Roasted pear salad with walnuts and parmesan”

  1. Kalyn Says:

    Oh wow, what a great sounding recipe. I love the photo, and everything about the combination sounds great!

  2. Helene Says:

    Yes, yes, yes I´m with Kalyn. This salad is splendid and I have to have it, immediately.
    Your dishes are always an inspiration to me. 🙂

  3. superspark Says:

    Thanks, Helene! I appreciate the vote of confidence!

  4. […] written before, on this blog, about my penchant for salads of the fruit, cheese, and nut variety. Mixing the sweet and the salty, the crunchy and the creamy, the light and the rich, how much […]

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  6. Lourie Takes Says:

    A mate encoraged me to check out this post, brill post, fascinating read… keep up the good work!

  7. Bridgitte Says:

    Looks very nice! Getting hungry

  8. Seems like you really understand a good deal pertaining to this particular subject matter and it all demonstrates through this article, labeled “Roasted pear salad with
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