Roasted Pear Salad

This Roasted Pear Salad is a great salad for fall when pears are in season.  

Lucky for us pears are available all year round so you can make it any time. The dressing is salty, spicy and fairly light with a 1:3 ratio of oil to vinegar.  The balsamic keeps it from being sharp like some dressings with that ratio.

Dieters will love this salad!  This little salad is surprisingly filling for so few ingredients.  Loads of fresh greens with big flavour hits from caramelized shallots, half a roasted pear and just a 1/4 ounce of fresh Pecorino Romano per serving.  Serve the dressing on the side because the shallots and pear both add some juiciness to the salad.  You may only need a small drizzle to suit your taste.

The other thing I like about this salad is that you serve it while the pear and cheese are warm. In the fall ice cold salads out of the fridge can lose their appeal.  So when you want something warm and comforting this is a great choice that is much lighter than some of the fall soups and stews.

roasted-pear-plate

I use Pecorino Romano cheese, which is a salty, hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk.  It really gives a nice tang to the dish.  Feel free to substitute Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano.

The pears and the shallots both take about 20 minutes to cook so they should be done about the same time.  Let them rest for about 5 minutes away from the heat before you arrange them over the greens so they don’t wilt the salad.

Wine Pairing for Roasted Pear Salad

The sweetness of the roasted pears, the flavourful cheese and the balsamic dressing make this a fairly complex salad as flavours go.  A Soave, a Chardonnay or Grenache Blanc would all be nice choices here.

On the red spectrum a Primitivo, Chianti, fruity Sangiovese or even a simple Rosso blend would all be good.

Roasted Pear Salad

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pears peeled, quartered and cored
  • 6-8 cups mixed greens
  • 4 shallots finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp thyme or rosemary optional
  • 1 oz fresh pecorino romano shaved
  • 1 recipe Basic Balsamic Dressing (omit the shallots in the dressing recipe)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 8" square baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Shave cheese in large thin strips. (I use a vegetable peeler).
  • Sauté shallots in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Add thyme or rosemary if using. Cook for approximately 20 minutes til shallots are soft and golden.
  • Peel pears and quarter them. Remove the cores. Put pears in the baking dish and spread cheese evenly over pear pieces. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Pears should be a little soft but still hold their shape. Cheese should be starting to turn brown.
  • While pears and shallots are cooking, prepare dressing and arrange greens on a serving platter.
  • When pears and shallots are done cooking remove them from the heat and allow them to cool 5 minutes. Arrange pear pieces and shallots over greens on the platter. Serve the dressing on the side.
Roasted Pear Salad

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