Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A favorite fruit in a favorite salad.

I wanted to share two things with you today: one of my favorite fruits and a super simple salad that highlights this delicious fruit. Growing up, I had seen Asian pears in the market, but never ate one. In fact, it never even occurred to me to buy one for years. That is, until I found this salad last year.

Since then, they have become an absolute favorite of mine. They are crisp and clean like an apple, but sweet and juicy like a pear. I love them out of hand, but there's something about them in this salad... the combination is nearly perfect. The salad is also ridiculously easy to make and handles substitutions really well. The original recipe called for arugula and champagne vinegar, but my husband is not an arugula fan so I used spinach and I don't have champagne vinegar so white wine vinegar had to do. However, I would argue it's just as good. The combination of the celery, Asian pear, and vinaigrette with the greens work so well, like each ingredient was made for the other.

If you're tired of the same old side salad or you've been wanting something fresh and healthy to pair with pasta, chicken, steak, etc., I highly recommend this salad. And if you spot Asian pears in the store this week (especially if they're on sale) pick up a few! Meanwhile, I will be in search of more ways to enjoy this fantastic fruit.

Asian Pear and Celery Salad with Spinach
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, September 2010

Serves 4

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar vinegar
2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced on the bias
2 cups baby spinach
1 large Asian pear, cored and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the celery, spinach, Asian pear, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve.

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