Kale, Cabbage, and Pear Slaw with Citrus Dressing

Kale, Cabbage, and Pear Slaw SM

Here is a quick fruit and vegetable slaw with a sweet and tangy dressing. This slaw makes an ideal side dish for a simple summer dinner of grilled fish or chicken, but it will also transition well into the fall as a bright and fresh side for roasted meat. This recipe is the perfect use for slightly under-ripe pears—they will add a unique texture and flavor to this colorful slaw.

Ingredients
Dressing
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
Salad
1 small bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded
1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 firm USA Pears, such as Bosc, cored and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped almonds

Directions
For the dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to dissolve the sugar and salt. Set aside until you are ready to dress the salad.

For the salad: In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kale, scallions, and pears. Toss gently with the dressing to thoroughly coat the ingredients. Transfer to a clean bowl or platter and garnish with the chopped almonds.

prep time: 25 minutes
yield: 8 servings

Black Rice Salad with Cherries, Pears, and Gouda

Black Rice Salad with Pears sm

This simple and hearty salad is full of fresh fruit and contains fiber. Its lightly sweet flavor comes from the ripe pears, cherries, and just a touch of fresh-squeezed orange juice in the dressing. It also features wonderful savory notes courtesy of the rice, gouda cheese, and walnuts. Put them all together and the result is a beautiful salad full of unique flavors, colors, and textures.

Try this salad for dinner on a hot summer day. Cook the rice and roast the onions in the morning and you’ll only need 10 minutes to complete this dish in the evening. Serve the salad alongside something simple from the grill, or as a vegetarian meal in and of itself.

Ingredients
Salad
1 small sweet onion, large dice
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 cups cooked and cooled black rice (or use any type of rice you like)
20 black cherries, halved and pitted
3 ounces gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
⅓ cup walnut pieces
2 ripe USA Pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, medium dice

Dressing
¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (from about one orange)
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt

Directions
Note: You will need to prepare and cool the rice before starting this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the diced onion in a small baking dish and toss with the tablespoon of canola oil. Roast the onion for 25-30 minutes, stirring once during cooking. Remove and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare the dressing by combining the ingredients in a small jar and shaking vigorously. Set aside until ready to use. In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled rice, roasted onion, halved cherries, gouda, walnuts, and pear slices. Shake the dressing again to combine and pour over the rice mixture. Gently toss the ingredients together. Serve the salad at room temperature or return to the refrigerator to store and serve cold.

prep time: 40 minutes
yield: 4 – 6 servings

Creamy Spring Pea Salad with Pears

Creamy Spring Pea and Pear Salad

Here is a quick and fresh salad recipe to welcome spring. Based loosely on the classic pea, bacon, and mayonnaise salad famously served at every Midwestern potluck, my version uses fresh sugar snap peas, bold radicchio, smoky bacon, and sweet, ripe USA Pears for balance. Toss the fruit and vegetables in a simple, creamy dressing and chill until crisp. Serve this salad on the first day you fire up your barbecue—it will pair perfectly with anything from the grill.

Ingredients
Dressing
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from half a lemon)
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
Salad
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, cooled, and chopped
1 head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1 pint fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed and sliced on the bias
2 ripe USA Pears, such as Green or Red Anjou, medium dice

Directions
For the dressing: Combine the lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to dissolve sugar. Add the shallots, sour cream, and mayonnaise and shake again to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (you may reserve a small portion of the bacon for garnish). Toss thoroughly with the dressing, cover, and refrigerate for one hour (or up to 24 hours). When you’re ready to serve the salad, remove from the refrigerator, toss again gently, and transfer to a clean platter or bowl. Garnish with the remaining bacon, if desired.

prep time: 30 minutes plus chilling
yield: 4 servings

Pear-fectly Packaged

The shelves of the produce departments are changing, and so is how we buy fruits and veggies. While many are looking for less packaging to reduce waste, others want convenience: pre-washed, pre-cut, ready-to-go.  For me, the decision depends on each individual item, how many people I need to feed, and how long the shelf life needs to be!

This season in New Zealand, pear sales increased thanks to new packaging. In this case, the design attracted attention and also gives us the opportunity to teach shoppers about how to tell when a pear is ripe (Check the Neck – but if you’re a frequent reader here at The Pear Dish, you already knew that, right?) and share a recipe.

Pear, Parmesan & Watercress Salad

4 Anjou Pears

100 g (3.5 oz) watercress

60 g (2 oz) parmesan

2 lemons

100 ml (1/2 c) olive oil

40 g (1.5 oz) walnuts (roasted)

1. Grate 2 pears into a bowl.

2. Cut 2 pears into 8 wedges and remove cores and add to the grated pear.

3. Squeeze juice of two lemons onto the pears and add olive oil. Toss.

4. Add watercress. Season and toss.

5. Place on platter and sprinkle with walnuts and shaved parmesan. Serve.

Happy Whole-idays!

Ten Varieties of USA Pears KO sm


The holidays are here and it’s National Pear Month! There are so many fresh, delicious pear varieties available right now, why not pick up a few new varieties? I’m encouraging my family to practice Healthy Wholidays this year, an effort to use more whole fruits and vegetables through the holidays. The idea is simple; start with fresh, whole fruits and vegetables at meals and when cooking or baking. Not only will whole foods provide fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, but using fresh limits processed foods and added sugar, salt, and preservatives. (I’m also thinking that it will end in more delicious, wholesome foods everyone will love for years to come!)

The fresh produce this time of year is delicious! One of my favorite dishes to bring to holiday parties is my homemade fruit salad. It’s simple: Cut fresh pears (Bosc are my favorites) and apples and peel and slice persimmons and clementines into bite-sized pieces. Cut a star fruit into star shapes. Mix fruits together and add a little lemon juice for zing and to prevent browning. Top with fresh pomegranate seeds and serve! Super delicious, super healthy for happy whole-idays!

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 at Frontera Grill in Chicago – it’s essentially a dressed-up version of this combination: fruit + crisp veggie (jicama, cucumber) + spice + citrus. I’m keeping this one at the top of my recipe file — it’s perfect for summer potlucks, but I suspect it will be whisking me away to Mexico on some upcoming rainy days, too.

Pear and Watercress Salad

In New Zealand, one of the most popular ways to enjoy USA Pears is in a salad.  Simple, classic, and delicious!  Our Kiwi friends sent me this enticing recipe and gorgeous photo – I can’t wait to whip up this combo.  I’ve even converted the measurements from metric to make this salad truly effortless to try at home!  As always, you can find more pear salad, ahem, pear-ings in the recipe section of usapears.org.

Pear Watercress Salad

Pear and Watercress Salad

4 USA Green Anjou Pears
3 1/2 oz watercress
2 oz goat cheese gouda
2 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 oz walnuts

Grate 2 pears into a bowl.  Cut remaining 2 pears into 8 wedges each, removing the core, then add to bowl.  Squeeze juice of 2 lemons onto the pears and add olive oil.  Toss, then add watercress and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Place on plate and sprinkle with walnuts and shaved goat cheese gouda.  Serve and enjoy!

Serves: 4

A Simple Summer Salad from NZ

Back in October, USA Pears were featured in a summer salad promotion in New Zealand. Lucky for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has just arrived, and a fresh USA Pear salad is refreshing addition to the season’s menu!

Here are our Kiwi friends enjoying the simple summer salad recipe below:

NZ Summer Salad

Pear SaladMake a balsamic dressing by whisking 5 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp aged balsamic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast ½ cup almonds in oven until lightly browned, then cool and chop. Put a handful of salad leaves into a bowl, add ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, toss with enough dressing to coat the leaves. Slice (don’t peel) one Anjou pear and add to the salad. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Check out more recipes for salads and our Seasonal Pear Menu for summer on usapears.org!