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Pear, prosciutto & pomegranate salad

2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy and quick

Pears and prosciutto get flavor-enhanced with a quick sear

The magic of this salad is that you fry up strips of prosciutto to magnify its flavor and add a little crisp. The pears receive similar treatment and are quickly seared in the same pan as the prosciutto using the fat rendered from the prosciutto. The result is an umami-rich Fall salad.

Pomegranate seeds liven, refresh and provide fresh flavor bursts

When pomegranates are ripe I can't resist putting them in everything. They provide a wonderful flavor burst for salads, and their jewel-like sacks make everything beautiful and appetizing. See my post for the definitive best way to seed a pomegranate. Hint: the best way to seed a pomegranate is not under water and you don't need to beat the poor fruit with a spoon.

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Cheese

You can use goat cheese on this salad or gorgonzola if you like a little more bite. You can also skip the cheese completely if you adhere to a dairy-free or Paleo diet.

Special ingredients

There are two special ingredients I use in the salad dressing: Spanish sherry vinegar and walnut oil.

 

Spanish sherry vinegar makes a wonderful salad dressing and is not as cloyingly sweet as balsamic vinegar. I like to mix Spanish sherry vinegar with a touch of balsamic vinegar when I want a little sweetness in my dressing. If you don't have Spanish sherry vinegar I would substitute red wine vinegar.

 

Walnut oil is a healthy and incredibly fragrant oil that makes a beautiful salad dressing. Crack open a bottle of walnut oil and take a big sniff and you will be sold. If you do not have walnut oil, substitute a good olive oil.

Portions

This salad can be served as a side salad, or for a complete dinner if you are up for a light meal. 

 

Pear, prosciutto & pomegranate salad

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Crisp prosciutto and seared pears topped with pomegranates, goat cheese and toasted walnuts over a bed of butter lettuce and frisee make for a quick and flavorful Fall salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 T Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 6 T walnut oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 3 pears, quartered and cored
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed, dried and chilled
  • 1 head frisee, washed dried and chilled
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3 ounces goat or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Instructions

For the dressing

  1. In a small bowl stir together shallot, Spanish sherry vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Gradually whisk in walnut oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the salad

  1. In a medium hot frying pan, or on a griddle, fry the prosciutto a minute or so on each side, just until it is crisp. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Dip the pear quarters in the salad dressing, and then saute a couple minutes on each cut side, until pears have softened slightly and the cut edges have caramelized. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. Toss the lettuce with the remaining salad dressing. Arrange on a big platter or on individual salad plates. Top with slices of pear, prosciutto, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Serve while pears are still warm.

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH

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