This salad speaks autumn. You’ll find pears, Bartlett and Bosc especially, all over the Farmer’s Market, and the escarole and mizuna are hardy greens that we see this cooler time of year. Try this at Thanksgiving too, as complement and neutralizer for the typical carbo and turkey-heavy meal. The basic recipe is from Gourmet Today, 1000-pages with 1000 “contemporary” recipes. Since Gourmet Magazine is no longer published each month, I’m finding this new cookbook to be the magazine’s permanent heirloom for my kitchen bookshelf.
4 firm, yet ripe pears, Bosc or Bartlett
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch escarole
1 small bunch mizuna
3 handfuls Ranui mixed salad greens
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon Real Salt
Preheat oven to 425° F. Peel and core the pears, then cut them into 8 wedges each. Toss them with the tablespoon of olive oil and spread in one layer on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the pears, stirring and turning a couple of times, until they are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool.
Wash the escarole and mizuna. Tear away any thick ribs and discard. Tear the tender leaves into bite-sized pieces. Mix with the salad greens to make up about 8 cups total.
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, until the salt is dissolved. Add the remaining ¼ cup of oil in a slow stream, whisking until smooth. Toss the vinaigrette with the mixed greens and the roasted pears. Divide onto chilled plates.
Makes 5 to 6 servings.