In the last two weeks, my taste buds have taken on a slight preference for comfort foods. But leafy green salads are still very high on my priority list. I crave salads all year long, not just in the warmer months. Especially when they’re filled with local, seasonal ingredients.
This Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears is my current obsession. It incorporates so many of my favorite Fall flavors, like fresh apple cider and maple syrup. And it highlights what I consider to be one of the most underappreciated Fall fruits: pears.
Pears always seem like they are playing second fiddle to apples. I mean, I love apples. Who doesn’t!?!? And admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of an apple spree myself these days. But pears deserve to be taken seriously once in a while, too. So I always make it a point to give them the spotlight in a couple different recipes over the course of their season.
For the base of this salad, I used tender, baby kale. But you could use whatever greens you love (baby spinach would be excellent!). I added in red grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles. But the real showstopper in this recipe is the sautéed pears. Slightly softened, flavored with both apple cider and maple syrup, and so gosh darn pretty that it seems like a shame to chop them up, they are the perfect topper for all your leafy green bowls this Fall.
Choose pears (I used Bartlett pears for this recipe) that are ripe, but still a bit firm when pressed. Because you don’t want them getting too soft and mushy when you cook them. That would be no bueno.
What are your favorite ways to use pears this time of year? I would love to hear your ideas!
This post was originally published here on September 22, 2014. I’ve since updated the photographs and text. I hope you give it a try!
Fall has officially arrived. But it sure as heck doesn’t feel that way.
We got hit with a swath of hot, humid air over the weekend. And while I totally took advantage of it (boating, patio beers and beach walks galore!), it did kind of put a damper on my cooking plans.
Fall baking will have to wait until the temperatures cool down enough for me to be able to tolerate turning on my oven for an extended period of time. But these carrots, well, they needed to get cooked. Another day or two and they might have been sentenced to die a slow death in the crisper drawer.
Roasted root vegetables are to Fall as tomato salads are to Summer. They are staples. I make them as often as I can. And I never seem to tire of them.
I can easily consume a whole sheet pan of roasted vegetables in one sitting. Which is an achievement that I’m not ashamed of.
These Honey Roasted Carrots are one of those simple side dishes that I make and serve all the time. I hardly even have to give the recipe a second thought at this point. The short ingredient list (only 5!) and easy preparation method has become second nature. And of course, they taste pretty amazing, too. They hit all the magical notes: earthy, salty, sweet and herby. What more could you ask for? Really?
If the carrots are very large/thick, you can cut them in half lengthwise. But I try to purchase smaller ones, if possible, so I can leave them whole. I think it results in a much prettier presentation (along with leaving a tiny bit of green at the ends for a bit of color contrast!).
What’s your favorite root vegetable to roast up during the cooler months?