Today begins Salad Week for Brandon and me. I think the crispy treats and alfredo put us both over the edge and in need of serious green therapy. We were craving healthy food, and what better time to begin a week (almost) of dinner salads than right before the Thanksgiving holiday?
We kicked off the week with a heavenly salad: pan-roasted pear with watercress, parmesan and pecans. I could not find watercress anywhere in Amherst or Madison Heights (not surprising), so I left that out. Despite this omission, the salad still had us raving.
This past work week was interminable. So, naturally, with a happy-hour martini in my right hand, I pulled out pears and leaf lettuce and cheese from the fridge with my left--almost burned the walnuts that were toasting in the meantime. I have never "roasted" pears before; watching the white slices turn gold and then rich brown with balsamic glaze, I reached a new cooking high.
Salad Week: Day 1 was a repeatable success!
Here's the recipe:
Serves 4 to 6. Published November 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.
- 3 ripe but firm pears (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered and cored (see note above)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus an additional 2 teaspoons
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 medium head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2 small bunches watercress, washed, dried, and stemmed (about 4 cups)
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped