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Roasted Pear and Parmesan Salad Recipe - Unripe Pears Are Best!
Pears have always frustrated me. Rock hard supermarket fruit that I set on the counter to ripen with good intentions and then forget about until the fruit flies circle that soggy paper bag.
Ah well, it's OK - cause although I had resigned myself to a pear-less life, this roasted pear salad recipe has saved me from me desolation, and allows even the most forgetful of us a way to enjoy tooth breaking pears on the day they're bought. This salad, in fact, is better with unripened pears!
Delicate pears, caramelized and softened through a quick pan roast are paired with strong bitter greens, the salty tang of good cheese and savory almonds in a beautiful light full meal salad.
I like almonds, frisee endive, Parmesan Reggiano, pears and a balsamic vinaigrette (as will follow in the recipe) but this salad is lovely with any number of variants – in fact it is probably more traditionally made with a gorgonzola or blue than the parmesan.
Roasted Pear and Parmesan Salad – for 2
This is a salad, of course, and to give exact measurements for a salad is somewhat ludicrous. As follows are just creative guidelines so that you can build your own variant using what you have good and fresh and available.
- 2 firm (unripened pears – ripe pears get too soft), cut into quarters, seeded.
- Slightly bitter greens (a mesclun mix is fine, frisee endive is great – even romaine can work in a pinch. Use whatever salad leaves with bite you have available.)
- Chopped blanched and then toasted almonds (walnuts or hazelnuts are good substitutes)
- Shavings of fresh Parmesan (good sized toothfull shavings – no grated nonsense, and absolutely no pregrated tasteless stuff!)
- Balsamic vinaigrette to dress the salad, with a little extra balsamic to glaze the pears.
- Preheat a heavy fry pan to medium with a light coating of oil. When hot, add the pear quarters, making sure that each pear segment is flat against the heat. Let "roast" for 3 -5 minutes, and flip over when nicely browned. Repeat for the flip side, and when finished, glug (a couple of spoonfuls) of balsamic all over the finished roasting pears and toss to coat and glaze.
- Dress your lettuce in the vinaigrette and make a nice mound of salad in the center of some big plates. Arrange the pear segments prettily beside the mound of salad and then scatter the toasted almonds about. Lastly, use a paring knife to cut some good strips of parmesan cheese to top it all off.
Fresh and simple and on the table in 10 minutes and only requiring a handful of ingredients, this is good eating.