Pear Salsa

The sun is shining! Portlanders are rejoicing—we’re feeling Spring in our step, an extra twinkle in our eye as we wake up after the sun and leave work while it’s still in the sky. But that’s today. It could change tomorrow. And back before this long-lost friend came out from the clouds, back when it was still gray and drizzly, I threw together this pear salsa from Mark Bittman to spice up my meals. It was delicious with tortilla chips and with shredded chicken. It’s incredibly versatile, in fact; I’m sure it would be delicious with other fruit (maybe added halved grapes or diced mango) or used in other savory dishes (atop fajitas or avocado halves). I also loved that it called for unripe pears, because a). they were much easier to uniformly dice for photography purposes, and b). I Continue reading

Spinach and Apples (and Pears)

Number three from Mark Bittman’s 10 Pear Salad Recipes: Spinach and Apple. This fruit-filled salad was such a great blend of flavors, it made me wonder why I don’t make salads at home more often. I ate this for lunch, then dinner, then packed it again for lunch the next day: I couldn’t get enough. It’s a simple salad, with a typical dark greens + fruit + vinaigrette combination, but the fresh rosemary and the blend of fresh fruits make it a standout.   I made this salad with Concorde pears (which will make any salad a winner, in my opinion) and Macintosh apples. The sweet, crisp texture of the pears blended perfectly with the softer, mellower Macintosh. Dressed with a tangy vinaigrette, fresh rosemary, and raisins, this salad is simply satisfying. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Jicama and Pear

Next up on the list of 10 Pear Salad Recipes by Mark Bittman: Jicama and Pear. I had the ingredients on hand this weekend and was looking for a light side dish to accompany a spice-filled stew, and this fit the bill. Bittman’s version is more heavily dressed, but I needed something crunchy and light to contrast my main dish. I subbed a dash of cayenne pepper for minced chile and added the suggested lime juice. Ole! Concorde pears were a great choice for this dish. Their vanilla-sweet flavor and crisp texture made a perfect match for the similar jicama and the punchy vinaigrette. I tossed the salad with minced basil and parsley because that’s what I found in the crisper, but I would have loved cilantro, too. This sweet salad reminded me of the Jicama Street Snack I devoured Continue reading

Boston and Bresaola Salad

Last week, I shared a great article on pears by food writer Mark Bittman. He’s famous for his fresh, simple approach to whole foods, and this roundup of ten (!) pear salad recipes are just that: novel in their fresh interpretations and reassuringly simple. Best of all, in my handicapped opinion, they’re mostly free of strong cheeses. While that ingredient seals the deal for most foodies, my tastebuds disagree vehemently, so I’m always looking for a different savory spin on pear salads. I love these seasonal recipes so much I’ve decided to re-create them in my own kitchen. Recipe inspiration for you, delicious lunch for me! First up: Boston and Bresaola. I admit I had to look up bresaola. It’s a salted, air-cured beef. I couldn’t find any at my local grocer, so I used prosciutto, per Bittman’s suggestion. Combined Continue reading