Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October Pear and Spiced Pepita Salad with Chevre

As I am sure most of you know...pears are simply luscious this time of year!  I am enjoying the wonderful selection the markets and produce departments are offering as of lately.  I can't resist buying a few of each kind, although I will admit my favorite has to be the D' Anjou pear, because of its wonderful sweet flavor, and buttery texture.  Since I had a few types on hand, I thought it might be nice to make a salad showcasing a few different varieties.  So I grabbed some D'Anjou, because they are my favorite, Red Bartlett for their beautiful color and butteriness, and spice pears, for their tart bright flavor.  Of course if you were making this you could choose your favorites!  I paired the pears with peppery local greens and shallots, as well as some chevre because I love it with pears.  I had some spiced pepitas I had made earlier in the week, and I decided to throw those in as well, and they ended up being a tasty addition with their crunch and salty spicy sweetness!  For the dressing I chose what else...D'anjou Pear vinegar!  It is a wonderful sweet tangy vinegar, but if it is unavailable in your area you could use riesling vinegar or white balsamic instead.  The salad was wonderful when composed and we were enjoying it at the table...all the flavors together, tart, sweet, tangy, peppery...they were all there!  A pear party in my mouth!  It was almost dessert-like with the chevre pears and nuts, but still savory.  My only gripe, it was gone too fast so I will be making more soon.  Take full advantage of the wonderful pears this season and give this salad a try!

October Pear and Spiced Pepita Salad with Chevre
Serves 3

Spiced Pepitas:
1/2 cup pepitas
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp maple sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp D'Anjou pear, or, riesling vinegar
1 tsp dijon
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

5 cups mixed flavorful greens such as arugula, mizuna and dandilion
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 D'anjou pear, sliced
1 Bartlett pear, sliced
2 small spice pears, sliced
2 oz chevre, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with nonstick spray. Toss pepitas with maple syrup, sugar, sea salt , spices, and chipotle and spread out on the sheet. Roast in the oven until fragrant and starting to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Combine greens, shallots, and pears in a large bowl, pour dressing over, and toss with hands to coat. Divide salad between 3 plates and top with toasted seeds and cheese.


Kim - Liv Life said...

What a gorgeous salad! I'm loving the different pears too, and made our first salad with Asian Pears. Funny, I've had them before but never liked them. Didn't realize that they didn't get soft like other pear and actually threw them away! I'm so glad I tried them again after all these years, we are really enjoying them and they are so perfect in salad.

Emily @ Foodie/Nutritionist said...

Great idea! I love pears in Fall salads, and seasoning the pumpkin seeds with maple and spice is such a good idea. It sounds like they will compliment the pears so well! Love your recipes :)

Elisabeth said...

I have to stay close to your blog, and start making some of these healthy and beautiful things. This salad is absolutely divine!

Amy said...

Thank you :)!

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