I’m pretty sure we all think of summer as the season for awesome salads, but in the heart of winter, there are just as many “in-season” fruits and vegetables to toss together and chase those cold weather blues away. This “lettuceless” salad uses celery (very under-used in my opinion) for crunch and Asian pears at the height of their flavor. It’s so sweet and indulgent you might even be able to skip dessert!
Asian pear and celery with balsamic vinaigrette (serves 2)
1 Asian pear, sliced thin
1 celery rib, sliced thin on an angle
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Parmesan shavings, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss together with the pear and celery and let sit at room temperature for about an hour. Plate the salad and shave the Parmesan on top.
This winter salad is wonderful paired with a creamy soup or pasta. The sweet vinegar bite cuts through the fatty richness of winter dishes and gives your salad spinner a little rest until the spring thaw.