Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pear, Arugula, Walnut and Parmesan Salad

Do you have a go-to salad for when you are entertaining?  My go-to salad is always an arugula parmesan combination.  I think that most people don't buy themselves arugula so it can be unexpected and delightful to serve guests.  There is something appealing about arugula's distinct peppery flavor that "tantalizes the tastes buds".  (Since I started this blog I have always wanted to say something "tantalizes the tastes buds" so there, I said it... about arugula no less!)  But I really do love it paired with a nutty, salty cheese such as good quality parmesan reggiano. 

This week I was trying to decide what to make for my parents who were going to be visiting from Maryland.  I decided to top my "go-to salad" with pears and toasted walnuts.  It was a great first course and everyone loved it!  For the entree I served the my Almond Crusted Chicken with a medley of rosemary potatoes.  We wanted to have a simple, healthy and relaxing meal at home in Charlotte before continuing on to Charleston for a weekend of southern foodie indulgence.  This salad, as it always does, hit the spot!  The addition of toasty walnuts pairs well with ripe barrlett pear slices.

Serves 4

1/2 cup walnuts
2 just ripe pears
4 oz arugula
2 oz parmesan, shaved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a small pan, heat walnuts on medium heat for a couple of minutes until they are golden brown. Quarter the pears, remove the core and cut each quarter into thin slices.  Combine the pears, arugula, walnuts and parmesan in a bowl.  Plate and top with a drizzle of dressing.  Enjoy!

What's your go-to salad for entertaining?