Yesterday was a long day! I seriously poured myself a glass of wine and then brushed my teeth. And even though the first few drinks were not too tasty, I was not going to waste that wine. Teeth can be brushed again!
Luckily for me I had made this salad over the weekend and had plenty of leftovers so I could throw together another one for a quick dinner.
I love a good fall salad, like this pear and fennel salad. You get crisp pears and rustic greens, plus the licorice flavor of fennel. Summer salads can be bright and juicy, but I find fall salads to be so earthy. A good fragrant cheese, such as Parmesan is a perfect compliment and another way to bring additional flavor to the salad. Add some chopped nuts for texture and you have the perfect compliment to any dish, or an entire dish in itself.
My favorite part of this salad is the super flavorful and unique dressing, which is made with pear nectar, dijon mustard and olive oil. Super easy, but full of flavor. I whisked mine up and dressed each salad up individually. It also stays good refrigerated, in an air-tight container (I have mine in a jar) for days.
So after my super long day I simply tossed my greens with the dressing and topped it with the fennel, sliced pears, cheese and pecans. You could easily top it with some grilled chicken or fish, but my brain was clearly not working so just a big salad was good for me.
- ⅔ cup pear nectar (I used Kerns)
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed and bulb thinly sliced
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- 2 cups hearts of romaine
- 2 small ripe pears, cored and sliced thin
- ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese
- For the dressing, whisk together pear nectar, vinegar and mustard. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For the salad, toss together fennel, arugula and romaine lettuce. Pour about half of the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat.
- Arrange the mixture on four salad plates. Top with pears, red onion rings and pecans.
- Shave Parmesan cheese over top of the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing or serve on the side for additional dressing.