This week’ How To Eat Your Box! entry comes from guest writer Ashley Rodriguez, food blogger at Not Without Salt.
Citrus are my personal highlight of winter. They are the sunshine on the plate. In our house citrus rarely makes it beyond the point of peeling then eating. Tangelos specifically are a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit. The taste is prominently tangerine.
Peeled, tangelos are a great addition to smoothies as they offer a bright zing and of course plenty of vitamin c which is vital during these gray months.
Citrus, in nearly any form, is a perfect addition to brighten up a salad. Add citrus segments to winter greens along with avocado and crumbles of salty feta. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a version of a salad I enjoyed while on a trip to Lyon, France with my husband. Yeah, I know, I’m jealous of myself after reading that sentence. But the point is, how often does a salad make such an impression that you carry it with you across the country – not physically I mean. You get my point.
The first step in the recipe is to caramelize thick slices of pears. Bosc pears, with their deep flavor, firm texture and rough russeted skin are the perfect candidate for this salad. Bosc pears are crisp and hold their shape well even when baked. They are an ideal candidate for a poached pear or, if you ever have leftover pie dough laying around and I do hope you find yourself in such a predicament at some point in your life. Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and lay thinly sliced pear over the top, leaving about 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the pear slices with sugar then bake until the crust is puffed and golden. Serve with loosely whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Don’t be fooled by the Bosc’s rough exterior and firm touch, they are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than most other pears. Their full flavor is best enjoyed before their flesh softens.
Recipe: Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts
From Ashley Rodriguez, Not Without Salt
4 1/2-inch thick slices of baguette
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 ounces goat cheese (chevre, crottin or other soft easy melting cheese), cut into 4 rounds
1/2 pear, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups greens, washed and dried
1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/4 cup Shallot Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Set your oven rack just under the broiler. Turn on the broiler.
2. Place the baguette onto a sheet tray and slide it on the rack. Watch closely as the bread will toast quickly. Just as the bread starts to crisp remove the tray from the oven and rub the crispy, craggily pieces of bread with a garlic clove. Don’t neglect the crust.
3. Set a piece of goat cheese on each slice of bread then place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and soft, and the bread has become even crispier.
For the pears:
1. Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Place the sugar in a small shallow bowl and dip each pear slice into the sugar to coat all sides of the flesh. Set the pears in the skillet and cook without disturbing until the sugar turns golden and caramelizes the sides of the pear, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
2. Remove the pears from the skillet and set aside until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Assemble the salad:
1. Toss the greens in a bowl along with the vinaigrette. Evenly coat the leaves and taste for seasoning.
2. Divide the greens between two bowls then top with the walnuts, caramelized pears and two pieces of the goat cheese toast.
3. Serve immediately.
For the Shallot Vinaigrette:
1. Whisk together the shallot, honey, mustard, and vinegar. Continue to whisk while pouring in the oil.
2. Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a jar and then shake until combined. Add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your desire.