Make Ahead


September 14, 2011
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)
In This Recipe
  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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