If you want to make this pear and brie salad just the way I made it, be prepared for a lot of prep time. Twelve years of prep time. First, buy a house with a pair of untended pear trees. Spend a few seasons pruning them to a third of their original size (and don't worry about the fact that they tilt precipitously, like that tower in Pisa). Every other year or so, harvest the pears when they are rock hard, and set them on the window sill. Check them every day. They will ripen, all of a sudden, and that is the day to make this salad. Substitute freely for everything except the pears; arugula can swap in for lettuce, fontina for brie, pecans for cashews, dried cherries for cranberries. Pear season lasts into the colder weather, making this a great salad for Fall.
Pear and brie salad with cashews and dried cranberries
Serves 2; can be multiplied.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp mild agave nectar, or more to taste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil (not fruity)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
For the salad:
4 cups thinly shredded romaine lettuce
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
2-3 oz ripe brie cheese, sliced
4 Tbsp roasted, unsalted cashews
4 Tbsp dried cranberries
In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake vigorously, until the dressing emulsifies. Set aside.
Divide the lettuce between two plates. Top each with half of the pear slices, brie slices, cashews and cranberries. Drizzle with just enough dressing to moisten, but not drown, the salad. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh black pepper, and serve.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Tangerine and feta salad
Tomato, beet and basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette
My favorite green salad, with tomato, cucumber, nectarines and olives
Asparagus, nectarine and tomato salad
Dried cranberry and pear chutney
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Broccoli bacon cranberry cashew salad, from Use Real Butter
Spiced pumpkin granola with cashews and cranberries, from Healthy Green Kitchen
Rice and mixed greens salad with dates, cashews, and chickpeas, from The Kitchn
Pantry trail mix, from $5 Dinners
Warm white bean and kale salad with dried cranberries and cashews, from Green Lite Bites
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