Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pears and Brie in a Salad

This great salad comes from Rose Reisman's website Art of Living Well. Check it out; she has many great recipes. I found her site because I looked online for "pear + salad." I was asked to bring a salad to dinner, and as I have a surfeit of pears, I was looking for some new ideas for a pear salad. This one caught my eye because of the combination of pears and brie -- two things I love. When put together with spinach and candied pecans, it was definitely yummy. I only used up two pears though. One slight change that I made to the recipe is that I sprinkled lemon juice on the chopped pears so they wouldn't go brown. Next time that I make this salad, I will mix up a little less dressing, and toss it all at the last minute, as tonight I thought it was it was slightly soggy.

My pears are beautifully flavoured, organically grown winter pears. I like pears a lot, but my family members will not eat pears at all unless cooked into something. I have been making pear jam, putting pears into my barbequed back ribs marinade, and hiding them in pancakes. I have given many away, although I have discovered that many people are not all that interested in being given homegrown fruit and veggies. They apparently prefer to eat the perfectly shaped, unblemished, and often tasteless and pesticide laden produce from the grocery store.

I am on always the lookout for new ideas for pears. . . or friends who appreciate a gift of fruit. So, here's Rose's great salad:

Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans, Pears and Brie
This is the number-one salad in my catering company. The sweet and savory combination of cinnamon-sugared pecans, ripe pears and small morsels of brie is sensational. There is very little oil in this, but you won’t miss it. You can easily make this a main meal salad by adding some grilled chicken or shrimp. Photo by Brian MacDonald.
1/3 cup pecan halves 2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 Tbsp icing sugar 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp allspice 1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp liquid honey
8 cups baby spinach leaves 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup diced radicchio
1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced
2 oz brie, diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.
  2. Rinse the pecans with cold water. Drain, but do not let them dry. Combine the icing sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in a small bowl. Dip the pecans in the sugar mixture, coating them well. Spread on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the center of the oven. Remove and cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, chop coarsely.
  4. Combine the spinach, radicchio, pear and brie in a large serving bowl.
  5. Whisk the juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, garlic, honey and mustard together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with the candied pecans.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious! And I love surplus fruit & veggies, so if you ever need a home for yummy homegrown produce . . . :)