Pear date salad

Pear date salad

When I can find Asian pears, I’ll use them to make a pear date salad. Asian pears are known by several other names including apple pears, sand pears, Japanese pears, and Chinese pears, to name a few. They are shaped more like an apple, but they really are pears that grow on Pyrus pyrifolia trees native to East Asia.

Juicy, crisp, and sweet Asian pears are a delicious complement to the mint leaves, dates, nuts, and blue cheese crumbles in this salad. There have been times when my taste buds are salivating for a pear date salad, but there are no Asian pears to be found in my local grocery store. In that case, any pear will do.

This is one of those recipes where measurements don’t need to be precise.  If you love Asian pears, add more.  If you don’t care for blue cheese, leave it out.  Just don’t skimp on the fresh mint that gives this salad a sweet, refreshing taste.  A simple vinaigrette allows the flavors from the salad to be front and center.

The original vinaigrette has 4 simple ingredients.  With a flavored white balsamic and olive oil, it gets even easier.  If you have a favorite white balsamic, go for it. You can’t go wrong either way.

Bonus: When you buy Asian pears, they usually come wrapped in a protective mesh sleeve. Save those to cover wine glasses or other breakables while stored in cabinets. You never know when the RV might hit a nasty pothole.

Asian pears wrappers
Use the protective mesh from Asian pears to cover wine glasses or other breakables.

Active time: 10 minutes      Total time: 10 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils:

  • Nothing special for this one

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Mixed salad greens, enough for 2
  • 2/3 cup Asian pear (or another pear), chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, slivered almonds, walnut pieces, or other favorite nuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3 tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Choose one of these two vinaigrettes:

Original Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp flavored white balsamic (my current favorite is Venice Olive Oil Cranberry Pear)

Directions: 

Put salad greens in a large bowl.  Add pear, dates, nuts, mint, and blue cheese crumbles.

Put the ingredients for whichever vinaigrette you’re making into a small jar and shake until blended.  Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss.

 

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