Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be assembled in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance; shake or whisk to recombine just before adding to the salad. The salad ingredients can be prepped and refrigerated up to 8 hours in advance. Toss them with the balsamic vinaigrette just before serving.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fennel bulbs (tough outer layer discarded), trimmed and cored then rinsed, dried and cut into very thin slices (a mandoline is best for this)
- 2 medium-ripe pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, halved, cored and cut into thin slices
- 6 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried (about 8 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces pecorino Romano, shaved into strips with a peeler
- Leaves from one 3/4-ounce package tarragon, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Combine the fennel, pears, spinach, pecorino Romano cheese and tarragon in a large bowl.
Whisk together the vinegar with the salt and pepper in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the oil and then toss with the fennel mixture. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Add half the dressing to the salad and toss to coat evenly; add as much of the remaining dressing as you'd like. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste, tossing to incorporate.
Divide among individual plates; serve immediately.
From food writer Tony Rosenfeld.
Tested by Edward Lichorat.
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