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Author Notes: My inspiration for this salad was my discovery of Seckel pears. These short, rotund, pears have a dark green skin that has a bloom of burgundy on it. They're the tiniest of all pears and one of the tastiest -- so sweet that they have been called "sugar pears." They're available at most specialty and organic markets as well as many major supermarkets during the late fall and early winter seasons. In this seasonal salad, I paired them with brie, since pears have an affinity for cheese, and tossed them with spicy watercess. Very little dressing is needed since the ingredients are all so naturally flavorful. If you can't find Seckel pears, then substitute 1 large Bosc or D'anjou pear, sliced crosswise. —Food Blogga
Makes 4 small or 2 large
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
tablespoon rice wine vinegar
tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and several cranks of freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch watercress, washed, stems removed (about 1 1/2-2 cups)
2 Seckel pears, sliced crosswise
6 Medjool dates, pitted and slivered
4 ounces brie, thinly sliced (the thin rind is edible)
2 tablespoons toasted pecans, slivered
- Saute shallots in 1 teaspoon olive oil for 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the dressing, whisk remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- To make individual salads, start by placing some watercress in the center of a plate, then add pear slices, the cooked shallots, some brie, and some dates. Top with toasted pecans and drizzle with dressing. Repeat with remaining three dishes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Autumn Salad