I’m trying to expand my salad repertoire in an effort to get Jen to eat more vegetables. I remembered seeing a beautiful pear and endive salad a few weeks ago, so the arugula and pear salad in NBR caught my eye. This was a very tasty salad, and I really liked the pears – I didn’t give all of them enough time to brown all the way through because I was impatient, but even so they had a thin candy-like coating.
Arugula with Roasted Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese
The pears may be roasted up to 3 hours in advance, but keep them at room temperature until serving time because refrigeration adversely affects their texture. Warm pears work nicely in this salad, too.
4 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
2 bunches arugula, stems removed, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 7 cups)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 cup walnuts, chopped coarse and toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking sheet or broiler pan bottom on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. For the pears: Peel and halve each pear lengthwise. With a paring knife or melon baller, remove the core. Set each half cut-side down and slice lengthwise into fifths. Put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the butter; add the sugar and toss again to combine. Spread the pears in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet, making sure each slice lies flat. Roast until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Flip each slice and roast until tender and deep golden brow, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
3. For the vinaigrette: Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste together in a small bowl.
4. For the salad: Combine the arugula, reserved pear slices, and cheese in a large serving bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine, sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.