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.
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 and Watercress Salad
4 USA Green Anjou Pears
3 1/2 oz watercress
2 oz goat cheese gouda
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!
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:
Make 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!