SPINACH AND PEAR SALAD

By • September 14, 2011 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: Many years ago Freddy and I lived in a farmhouse in the dairyland of West Marin where we were surrounded by acres of pastures and our nearest neighbors were miles away. Five little gnarly pear trees grew in the front of the house where they were very visible. I dreamed about all the uses that I would have with my pears. But, when I went out to pick my pears the next morning every single pear was gone. The previous tenant confirmed that yes it was strange but he had had the same experience(gypsies?). The next year barking dogs woke us up in the middle of the night to find at least two raccoons in each tree feasting on my ripe pears! Notice that I refer to them as"my" pears...hah..the joke was on me! This is my favorite quick and easy spinach salad". If you have your own pear tree, it will be even sweeter.dymnyno

Serves 8

  • 1 pound spinach,either baby spinach or large leaf
  • 4 slices lean bacon
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 firm pears
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar (a pinch)
  1. Wash and dry the spinach. If you use large leaf spinach, remove the stems and cut the spinach into ribbons.
  2. Cook the bacon until very crispy. Drain on paper towels and crumble.
  3. Core the pears and slice into thin wedges (about 3/8 inch). Don't bother to peel.
  4. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and when the butter is slightly browned add the pears and sauté for just a few minutes to add a caramelized butter flavor, but to still keep the pear slices crisp.Remove from pan.
  5. Mix the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegars,olive oil,red pepper flakes and sugar.
  6. In a large salad bowl add the spinach, crumbled bacon, pecans and the sautéed pears. Finally add the vinaigrette and toss.
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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yum! The perfect fall salad! And to build on your great headnote, a few years ago we planted a nectarine tree. By the second season, we had a bunch of nectarines happily ripening. I was SO excited. And then the racoons all showed up and told their friends, and the nectarines were suddenly, and I mean suddenly, all gone. They did a lot of damage to our young tree as they climbed it and broke many of the branches and the poor tree is still in recovery mode. As for my pear tree, I have all of 1 pear on it, so I'm likely not doing something right :-(

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

"Our" raccoons were proessionals..they left no trace of their presence. They got away with it for 3 years before our Westie sounded the alarm.

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

I know what you mean by "suddenly, all gone". They ate everything on the trees.

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

They're very very smart and nimble with their little hands. They're cute, but not when they're eating the fruit in my trees. And not when they're having their babies under our house. But that's another story. Where in Boston are you? I moved here from there, and still have such a love for the area.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hilarious about the raccoons, I love a simple, easy recipe that pops with flavor this delivers.

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Thanks!

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over 3 years ago SKK

I love easy and this is delicious!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Thanks,SKK.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yum..and I love really tart salad dressing, too. (Have been know to dress a salad with just balsamic vinegar. But then I also eat lemons.)

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

I'm a lemon fan myself...no sugar in my lemonade!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Everything looks good here - love the story about your pear trees being "raided". Do you really use equal proportions of oil and vinegar?

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Thanks...I am using my iPad and I'm in a moving car!...so no pics either. It is a beautiful day in Boston.