Looking for a simple salad this fall? Something that takes almost no time to toss together and goes with just about any meal– or can be made into a meal all by itself? Me, too, and that’s how I ended up with this salad. It was made solely from ingredients I happened to have on hand in the fridge and pantry, and it’s completely versatile. Trade the pears for apples, the raisins for cranberries, the pecans for walnuts. It’s all good.
Pear & Spinach Salad
1 Bartlett pear
1 small lemon, halved
1 cup water
2 cups baby spinach
¼ cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
¼ cup shredded medium cheddar
¼ cup shredded sharp white cheddar
2 tbsp raisins or dried cranberries
In a small container, combine juice of half of a lemon—store the other half for another use—and water. Peel and slice the pear—don’t forget to remove the core. Cut the slices in half horizontally– the pear pieces are about 1 x 1 inch in size and about 1/4 inch thick. Place pear pieces in the acidulated water—the lemon juice will help to keep the pear from turning brown in the short term. Set the pears in the water aside.
Rinse and dry spinach leaves. Place them in a medium shallow bowl. Toss with pecans, cheese, and raisins (or cranberries).
Remove pear slices from the water and dry them gently with a paper towel. Discard the water. Toss the pear slices with the spinach mixture.
I like this salad with about 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinaigrette. This is also good with a raspberry vinaigrette or a honey apple cider vinaigrette. To make this a main dish salad, add slices of grilled chicken. For lunch, I topped mine with strips of breaded pork cutlet left over from dinner the night before.
Oh– and those pears– they were huge! I’m talking half the size of a salad plate.
Yield: 4 servings