Recipe: Pear and Beetroot Salad
This salad is a dreamy companion to any showstopping dish, with earthy beetroot flavour enhanced with soft pear.
Recipe: Jenny Somervell
Ready in – 90 minutes
Serves – 4
Choose a cheese to your taste. Good options are feta, a blue or a brie. If you like, sprinkle chopped walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts or pumpkin seeds over the top to finish. If your pears are not yet ripe, add them to the oil, vinegar, water and sugar simmering step.
4-6 small-medium beetroot
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water
150-200g soft cheese
5-6 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
3-4 cups salad greens
Gently boil the beetroot covered in water for 30-40 minutes until cooked. Cool and remove skin by rubbing, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Bring the oil, vinegar and water to simmer and add the sugar. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to reduce by half. Peel, core and coarsely chop the pears into bite-sized pieces.
Wash the greens as required and drain dry. Line the serving bowl with the greens. Mix the pears, beetroot and cheese together in a bowl then place on top of the greens.
Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and garnish the salad. Drizzle the oil/vinegar/water mix over the salad and serve
7 WAYS TO USE PEARS
1. Pears go exceptionally well with red wine, chocolate, berries, ginger and vanilla. Try them raw with ripe cheese (especially blue), red wine, and nuts like walnuts and almonds.
2. Delicious with roast lamb, fish or ham, duck, beetroot and florence fennel.
3. Bake whole, or slice and put into tarts.
4. Serve fresh in salads with a strong-flavoured cheese, autumn greens such as spinach, mustards, rocket, kale and walnuts with a balsamic vinegar dressing.
5. Peel and core and poach in red wine or sugar syrup.
6. Try a crumble with pears and blackberries (frozen berries are fine), adding chopped hazelnuts, lemon zest and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
7. Freeze them easily. Peel and core, then dip into water and lemon juice to stop browning. Place into a freezer bag as is, or dip in a sugar syrup to help preserve fruit texture. Fruit will last about a year in the freezer.