10.28.2007

Holiday Notebook: Harvest Pear Salad with Caramelized Walnuts

Beautiful and delicious, elements of the Autumnal equinox come together in this salad. Choose firm, yet ripe local pears. Freshly harvested walnuts from the Farmer's Market are especially good in this salad.

Caramelized Walnuts
Make these days ahead and keep in an airtight container

1 lb walnuts- shelled and briefly toasted in pan or oven.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, have toasted walnuts nearby in a glass or metal bowl.
In a heavy saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine sugars, cinnamon and water. Stirring occasionally, let mixture come to a boil, continue to boil over medium heat until the sugar is of a very thick, honey- like consistency. Pour hot sugar over walnuts and toss to cost immediately. Pour coated walnuts out onto sheet pan with parchment paper. Let cool briefly and break apart any clumps.

Pear Vinaigrette courtesy of my friend Kris

1 large pear- peeled and cored
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Puree all ingredients in blender or food processor, adjust seasoning if necessary.

Assemble the salad using fresh mixed baby greens and fresh sliced pear. Drizzle salad with pear vinaigrette and sprinkle with caramelized walnuts. For color and flavor, add dried cranberries.

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A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.

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