Henry’s autumn pear salad
Brockman’s recipe for September, The Fruit Moon, was created by her brother, Henry. I varied it somewhat, poaching only the peeled, cored pear to be puréed. I also skipped puréeing it separately and straining it. Instead, I put the cooled cooked pear in the blender along with the vanilla, Sherry vinegar, and mirin; and used cored, but unpeeled diced pears as garnish.
Sherry vinegar, available at Incredibly Delicious, is indispensable in my kitchen. I always have an extra bottle in my pantry, so I won’t run out. Its nutty tang is perfect in this salad.
- 6 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
- shallot, minced
- 1 tsp. diced fresh ginger
- 1 c. water
- tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 T. sherry vinegar
- 1 T. mirin (a Japanese sweet cooking wine) [available in many ethnic grocery sections]
- 1 T. soybean oil
- lb. fall [salad] greens
- Black sesame seeds, for sprinkling
In a 1-quart saucepan, cook the pears with the shallot, ginger, and water over medium heat until soft. Strain and set aside to cool. Once at room temperature, purée one of the pears and strain through a sieve.
Add the vanilla, sherry vinegar, and mirin to the puréed pear and process in a blender or food processor. Slowly add the oil to emulsify. Dice the remaining pears for garnish. To serve, toss the greens well with the pear mixture/dressing. Divide among four serving plates and garnish with remaining pears and sesame seeds.