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Mizuna and Escarole Salad with Caramelized Pears

Escarole and mizuna are a couple of the more bitter hardy greens that we see this cooler time of year. Both are in our Ranui Gardens CSA box this week. All over the Farmer’s Market right now we find pears, beautiful local fruit.  The whole caboodle speaks autumn, this mizuna and escarole salad with caramelized pears.

The basic recipe is from my latest cookbook indulgence, Gourmet Today. Since Gourmet Magazine went out of business, I consider this cookbook a permanent heirloom of the missing monthly. The recipes are many and modern—1000 + pages with more than 1000 all-new recipes for the “contemporary” kitchen. I might go as far to say this book has replaced Joy of Cooking as my go-to reference.

For the greens you can use any ratio. If you don’t have mizuna, use all escarole, or vice versa–just make sure you have enough of the more bitter greens to contrast the less bitter salad greens, the pears and the honey vinaigrette. On the other hand, who cares? These sweet and salty pears will be delicious on any greens, even if it’s romaine, bibb or iceberg.

Save this recipe for Thanksgiving when you want a fresh, bright, flavorful complement to the all the carbos and turkey.

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Mizuna and Escarole Salad with Caramelized Pears
Ingredients
  • 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 mixed salad greens
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
  • Pinch cayenne
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Peel and core the pears, then cut them into 8 wedges each.
  2. Toss them with the first tablespoon of olive oil and spread in one layer on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the pears, stirring and turning a couple of times, until they are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool.
  4. 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.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the remaining ¼ cup of oil in a slow stream, whisking until smooth.
  6. Toss the vinaigrette with the mixed greens and the roasted pears.
  7. Divide onto chilled plates.

 

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