Pears are humble. They don’t shout out at you with bright colours like apples do. They’re not exotic or bizarre like dragonfruit. They don’t have an intense flavour like a grapefruit. They’re just pears. They’re humble, they’re subtle, and consequently they marry well with a host of other foods.
In this salad, the pears complement the stronger flavoured fennel and provide a perfect contrast with the feta and walnuts. I used a delicate butter lettuce, but you could try it with any greens: arugula, baby spinach, or baby kale would likely be good too.
- 1 ripe D’Anjou pear, (or other winter pear) sliced about 1/8 inch thick
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced very thinly. (I should have used my mandoline but I’m a bit afraid of it.)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 – 3 cups of baby salad greens
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- a few mint leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp honey
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Thinly slice fennel into a small bowl. To tenderize it a little, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, the lemon juice, and sprinkle with some salt. Toss and set aside.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust the seasoning.
- In a larger bowl, toss together the pears, baby salad greens, fennel, and most of the feta and walnuts with the dressing. Assemble on a platter and top with the remaining feta and walnuts. Garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy!