The good, among the bad and the ugly of the refrigerator.
After the holidays, my refrigerator can resemble a food morgue with rows of Tupperware caskets sealing in freshness or fuzzy blue mold as the case may be. After deciding to exhume the bad dishes of Christmas past and make way for a culinary New Year, I was delighted to rediscover some epicurean gifts tucked among the sarcophagi of scary leftovers: Oregon Comice pears from Leslie and Olivia; fresh Georgia pecans from my Mom and Dad; a slab of Shropshire Blue from Tamara; a voluptuous carafe of aged balsamic from Denise; and a meaty ham bone from this resident ham bone. As culinary kismet would have it, I had everything I needed to make one of my favorite winter salads–a gifted dish indeed.
Recipe: Winter Pear Salad
- 3 peeled Comice pears (or Bosc or D’Anjou pears)
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup of crumbled Shropshire Blue cheese (or Stilton or blue cheese)
- 1 cup of chopped ham (or omit for vegetarian status)
- 1 T. of aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 T. of olive oil
- Ground pepper to taste
- Chop cored peeled pears into bite-sized pieces.
- Add pears to salad bowl
- Add chopped pecans
- Add crumbled cheese
- Add chopped ham
- Drizzle balsamic and olive oil over mixture
- Toss, let it sit for a couple minutes and toss again to incorporate released pear juice
- Pepper to taste
- Serves 4 as side salads, or 2 as dinner salads
I love this salad and make variations of it all winter. Ripe pears make it sing, blue cheese adds vibrato, nuts provide percussion and ham packs a salty punch. Experiment with your favorite fruits, cheeses and nuts. Sometimes I mix in wild salad greens or Boston bibb lettuce, that is when the contents of my crisper don’t resemble sea kelp.
PS–My blog pal Stacey also offers up a delicious variation of a pear salad on her site.
What a tasty & fabulous winter salad this surely is, dear Tom!!
I love the 1st picture a lot!! MMMMM,…
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mmmmm…you’re making me hungry! I’m curious, I’ve never had Shropshire, is it much different from other blue cheeses?
Hi Scott, It has a smoother, less-sharp flavor than most blue cheeses, and a mellow drier cheddar texture with a rich aftertaste.
I love that you just happen to have a ham hock laying around!
Beautiful salad…..great minds think alike!
I love your version heartier than Stacey’s for sure but no less tasty ; this cheese got my attention too.
What a delightful salad! I have not heard of Shropshire cheese, but it sounds heavenly. I must look for it – and with pears? Divine!
Yum! All ingredients I love!
Salad?!?! That’s Vashon Island hash, honey.
Hey- learn how to spell yer own name before you start gettin’ catty Townsend!! xo 🙂
You know Chris, you have a valid point (as does Dan) 😉 I may just have to change the name of this recipe — brilliant!
Dang, I should of kept that cheese! Oh well, tonight it’s aged Irish Cheddar and Petit Basque cheese on the table. What would you make with those Tom? Not that I’m going to share ha ha. I should never look at your blog before dinner!!!
Lucky me! I have all of these ingredients as well! Will bake some bread today to eat alongside.
I love pears and pecans in a salad. It’s such a classic combination. Will you be making a soup with that ham bone?!
Yep Thomas, any good ham bone soup recipes?
Your photo alone made me hungry and I have yet to read your post. The cotents of your refrigerator are awesome.
I love to look at all your lovely photos!
That salad looks incredible (except, of course, for the poisonous pecans). I’ll have to see what I have in my fridge when I get home…
Hahaha…Ham bone soup….that sounds tasty. Of course you have to do a split pea soup. It’s the only way to go.
The left overs it seems are put to good use which reminds me of a french phrase “restes frais” as an alternate to Chris’s suggestion. The term is somewhat of a double entendre meaning fresh remains. It has the required culinary lilt but is used in France to describe the newly dead such as in a cadaver. I figured with your sense of humor, you and your cultural following might get a kick out of the name.
brion, you funny man. I’m surprised that no one in LA or NY hasn’t jumped on that name for a hip new restaurant called…Bistro Restes Frais.
“Jordan, have you tried the foie gras at Bistro Restes Frais? Oh Ellery, I love it as much as the duck confit with pork cracklins.”
I love salads with pear. It really is such a great fruit. This looks delicious. Breakfast time here, and getting hungry! 🙂
Great photos! I love this salad. A nice vegan option is sliced Field Roast, a “meaty” seitan wheat-meat faux meat that has a remarkable flavor.
Great tip Debra, especially when I’m entertaining my vegan pals, most appreciated.