Juicy, fresh pears are such a treat! For the past few years, I’ve treated myself to Harry and David pears. The grandkids beg for sliced pears like it is candy.
In addition to enjoying the pears by themselves, this Pear Salad is to die for. The combination of blue cheese and candied, or spiced, nuts it wonderful. The dressing is light and a perfect compliment to the salad. My pears are almost gone but I’ll savor every remaining bite!
ROYAL RIVIERA PEAR SALAD
1 head Butter or other lettuce, washed and dried 2 Pears, peeled, cored and sliced (or diced) 2/3 cup blue cheese (if you despise blue cheese–replace with a cheese you like) 2/3 cup candied nuts (I use my homemade spiced pecans)
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard 1 Tbsp. honey 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper 3/4 cup walnut oil (or canola)
To create dressing, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil.
Gently tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on four chilled plates.
Our Book Club meets every other month and tries to match the pot-luck cuisine to align with the story. This month our book was ‘Sarah’s Key’. I loved this book! If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. The story takes place in France during WWII. While food and cooking wasn’t the topic of the book, French Cuisine was the food du jour.
French cooking brings Julia Child to mind but I was looking for something light and fresh. I was delighted to find a French Green Bean Salad that was perfect!
FRENCH GREEN BEAN SALAD
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute only so the beans are crisp tender. Drain the beans and put them in the ice water until completely cool. Drain the beans again, dry on paper towels. Place the beans in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.
Pour enough dressing over the beans to moisten them well, reserving the remaining dressing for another use. Toss with the dill, season to taste and serve at room temperature.