winter pear salad

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.

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About jentarantino

i went to culinary school back in the mid 90's where i soon discovered that most of my favorite things to eat begin with celery, carrots and onions; or at the very least, one of the three. i cooked professionally for a very short time, but never stopped being a "home cook". i used the skills i acquired in school to teach myself to bake and kept up on food trends by becoming addicted to cooking shows and food magazines. i will eventually open my own soup shop, but until that happens, this blog will be my culinary outlet. i hope it inspires you to... stand lovingly over a simmering pot, wait anxiously for rising bread dough, frost cupcakes with care, marinate, brine, and most importantly... make it yourself!
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