Bitter Green Salad with Roasted Pears

December 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Bitter and Sweet.

Isn’t that just like life?

When my daughter was born I experienced an extreme example of the way life seems to always dole out the bad with the good. I had a beautiful, healthy, sweet baby along with carpal tunnel so bad I could not sleep at night (or hold her) and post partum depression that lasted until well after her first birthday.

And now at age 32 I am finally making peace with Israel (I hope), and choosing to make our home there after a lifetime of emotional and physical back and forth. The irony being that I am leaving more behind than I ever did in my previous moves ‘back’ to Israel. Of course there is something nice about knowing that there has been, and will continue to be so much for us here, should we ever want or need to return, but when you are trying to look forward that knowledge is only partially consoling.

It’s a weird time.

Bitter Green Salad with Roasted Pears, from Gourmet Today, edited by Ruth Reichl, 2009

Sustenance was getting a little dense and heavy around here with my cook-with-beer kick still in full swing — it was time for some greens… I imagine that the name of this salad may not be winning appeal from a very broad audience, which is unfortunate because bitter greens, in addition to being good for you, are quite tasty when paired with the right ingredients. So do yourself a favor and give biter greens a chance (if you have not already) and make this colorful, tangy-sweet salad tonight!

This recipe serves 10-12, I cut the recipe in half and still had a lot of salad left over.

For salad

8 firm-ripe Bosc pears (4 lb), peeled, cored, and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small head chicory

1 small head escarole

1 small head radicchio

1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded

1 bunch mizuna, coarse stems discarded

1 small head romaine

For dressing

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Roast pears and make salad:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss pears with oil and spread in 1 layer in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan, then season with salt and pepper. Roast pears, stirring and turning over twice, until pears are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes, then cool about 15 minutes.

While pears are roasting and cooling, tear enough tender chicory and escarole leaves (discard ribs) into bite-size pieces to measure 6 cups total. Tear enough radicchio, watercress, mizuna, and romaine into bite-size pieces to measure 10 cups total. Toss torn greens in a large bowl and reserve remaining greens for another use.

Make dressing and toss salad:
Whisk together shallot, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Just before serving, add roasted pears and dressing to greens and toss to combine well.

Note: I highly recommend washing your greens a day ahead and storing them wrapped in paper towels, then plastic bags, in the fridge. There are so many greens in this recipe, it will make preparation seem a lot easier on the day of.


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