Pan-Roasted Pear Salad With Watercress, Parmesan and Pecans

"Salads can be as simple as throwing together lettuce with some dressing to fabulously delectible and worthy of a special occassion. Here's a fabulously delicious one from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009. Also a fit in the Paleo diet. It takes a little time due to the pears cooling in the balsamic glaze, but utilize the time well and prepare the remainder."
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Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • The success to the best salads is to first chill your serving plates. Place salad plates or bowls in the refrigerator while preparing. Simple as that.
  • Toss the pears, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pears cut side down in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a small spatula or fork, tip each pear onto its second cut side; continue to cook until the second side is light brown, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Turn off the heat, leave the skillet on the burner and add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar; gently stir until the vinegar becomes glazed and coats the pears, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pears to a large plate and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Cut each pear quarter crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar and shallot together in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce, watercress and cooled pears to the bowl; toss and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the salad among individual chilled plates; top each with portions of the cheese and nuts.

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I'm just me, mother, grandmother...friend to many and a Louisianian. My Cajun and French Quarter Italian descent afforded me exposure to some of the best of foods. My passions are my family, decorating, cooking and gardening. Those very passions push me into constant awareness with always looking for something new to delight the senses, thus my favorite idiom...Inspire me, puuuullllllleeeeeeease! ...and I mean it, too. God Bless America!
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