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Author Notes: Asian Pears, or "nashi," are my favorite fruit for their crisp sweetness and I ate them by the bushel when I lived in Japan. However, they are pretty dear in the US so I save them for a special treat or try to maximize their pleasure, such as in this refreshing salad. The nashi and fennel are sliced thinly with a mandolin, so one nashi can serve 4 or 5 people. I add creamy goat cheese and toasted pralines to compliment the bite of the fennel and sweetness of the nashi. —lloreen
- 1 large fennel bulb, leaves included if possible
- 1 Asian pear, pealed
- 1/4 cup pralines
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (or thyme)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- .5 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- Cut the stems off your fennel bulb. With a mandolin, slice your bulb in thin strips (about 1/8- 1/4 inch thick), cutting from root to leaves. Roughly chop about 2-3 tablespoons of the green leaves for color.
- Quarter and core the peeled asian pear. Use the mandolin to slice the quarters into half moons in the same thickness as the fennel. Toss with the fennel.
- With a dry pan over medium heat, toast the pralines until they brown and begin to smell nutty. Remove immediately to avoid burning. Crumble roughly with your hands over the fennel and pear.
- Add the goat cheese.
- Whisk together your dressing, toss, and serve.
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