If you ask me, pears too often fall under the shadow of apples during the fall. As we’re all off apple picking and making apple pie and apple crisp and apple cake and apple salads, those poor pears are just languishing at the grocery store or farmers market begging to be loved. Let’s give them some love.
Every bit as easy to work with, pears can be substituted in virtually any recipe calling for apples. Beyond that, poached, they make an elegant dessert. And eaten fresh, of course, they’re a terrific afternoon snack. I think they’re especially good in a spinach salad, especially when you throw in a little goat cheese and toasted walnuts to keep them company. Try this and see what you think!
Spinach and Pear Salad with Goat Cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 firm, but ripe pears
3/4 cup walnuts, broken into small pieces and toasted
4 oz. goat cheese crumbles
1 bunch or bag of spinach
1. Squeeze juice of 2 lemons into a small bowl. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Whisk in the honey, and then the olive oil. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
2. Wash and dry spinach.
3. Slice pears into 8 slices each.
4. Combine spinach, pears, and walnuts. Toss dressing with salad. Gently toss in goat cheese.