“Simple, but elegant” is how my mother-in-law described this salad. Normally, I like to load my salads up with every living veggie from the crisper drawer. But these simple and classic flavor combinations won me over. This is my new salad for when company comes over. So if you’re at my house and I serve you this, feel special.
Tips for success: Use organic arugula, endive and pear whenever possible. Add the dressing one big spoonful at a time. It is mild, but no one likes drowning greens. I used between half to two-thirds of what the recipe made. To make life simpler, make the walnuts and dressing a day or two before serving.
Arugula Salad with Pear and Walnuts – inspiration from Epicurious and Marianne D.
1 container of baby arugula (about 5 ounces)
3 or 4 Belgian endive, trimmed, leaves separated
2 firm, but ripe, pears, halved, cored, sliced lengthwise
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons salad vinegar (sherry or rice preferably)
2 tablespoons sherry, red wine or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
10 tablespoons olive oil
For the walnuts:
1 1/2 cups walnuts pieces
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
few grinds of pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Whisk salad dressing ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.
Toast walnuts in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes. In medium saucepan, melt sugar. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Spread walnuts out on a oil-sprayed or parchment paper lined pan to cool. Before completely cooled, sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Toss arugula and endive together in salad serving bowl. Top with pears, parsley, walnuts, and dressing. Toss lightly.