On cold, grey, wintery days, I often crave hearty, robust, indulgent foods to keep me warm and toasty. Recently I’ve been experimenting with plumping up my winter greens with hearty and wholesome ingredients that satisfy my sweet-salty-crunchy cravings. Roasted pears are a favorite of mine to add to a salad of arugula or baby kale. Not only does roasting bring out the sweetness in the pears, but it also intensifies their rich and soft texture. Moreover, roasted pears are wonderfully warm, healthy and filling. In my kind of salads, no sweet shall go without something salty. For fanciful indulgence it has to be crispy, flavorful bacon. (If you don’t eat meat, I’ve also tried this salad with beluga lentils which works really well). Top the salad with oven-toasted cornbread – my absolute favorite to soak up the honey-mustard dressing – and add a sprinkling of fresh edamame. (If you want a truly decadent salad, add a few sneaky candied pecans – I know. I’m nuts).
Your perfect dinner on a cold winter’s evening.
Roasted Pear & Bacon Salad with Corn Bread Croutons
4 slices bacon
2 small- medium pears, halved lengthwise
1/2 pound corn bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
A pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
2 large handfuls of hearty greens (such as arugula or baby kale -torn)
1/2 cup shelled edamame
Handful of candied pecans – optional.
What to do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a large ovenproof skillet or grill pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned, approx 6-8 mins. Reserve the skillet.
- Drain the bacon on a paper toweled lined plate, and tear into large pieces.
- In the same skillet/grill pan, place the pears cut-side down and transfer to oven. Roast until tender, 12-15 mins
- Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the cornbread with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toast in the oven until golden brown, 8 to 10mins, turning once.
- To make the dressing, add the lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt and pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into a mason jar and shake vigorously until emulsified together.
- To serve, add mixed greens into a salad bowl and top with the warm roasted pears. Add in the bacon, corn bread and sprinkle on the edamame. Drizzle the honey mustard lemon dressing and dig in immediately!