For some families, salad is as much a part of the Thanksgiving feast as stuffing and cranberries. In this simple salad, pears bestow an autumnal touch and the balsamic dressing is so good you'll want to make it year-round.
No sherry vinegar? Just substitute 1 tablespoon sherry and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. Salad greens can be washed on Thanksgiving morning, loosely wrapped in paper towels and refrigerated in resealable plastic bags until ready to use. Concorde pears, unlike other varieties, are very slow to oxidize, or turn brown, so they can be sliced and refrigerated with the salad greens several hours in advance. If using another type of pear, slice and add to the salad just before dressing it.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups mesclun greens
- 3 pears, preferably Concorde (available at Safeway and Whole Foods stores)
In a small bowl, add the oils and the vinegars and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. If serving immediately, set aside; otherwise, transfer the vinaigrette to an airtight container and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature when ready to serve.
Place the mesclun greens in a large bowl. Halve the pears lengthwise and core. Thinly slice each pear half lengthwise at full length to retain the pear shape. Add to the greens and toss. Shake the vinaigrette and add just enough to moisten the greens and pears (there will be some vinaigrette left over). Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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