This recipe for pear, date and goat cheese salad illustrates how far We've come from the world's first original salad created by the Greeks and Romans.
These first salads were nothing more than layered vegetables drizzled with oil and vinegar and topped with herbs. Through the passage of time, salad trends have constantly changed and evolved. In my lifetime alone I've seen salads served in jello molds, tossed in rich, creamy dressings, served with fruit such as the famous Waldorf salad and many more.
Needless to say my personal focus of late has been on using microgreens in my salads and other recipes. Add to that these beautiful edible flowers and you have a show stopper!
Traditional Pear Salad
Pear salad is a famous Southern delicacy, often found in "upscale restaurants" as per www.southernthing.com. However, I doubt you would find anything remotely resembling it in any dining establishment today.
The old fashioned version was nothing more than a halved, canned pear seated on a bed of lettuce. A dollop of mayonnaise and a garnish of mild shredded cheddar completed the dish and presentation.
Today's chefs have introduced grilled and poached pears, exotic cheeses, unique toppings, mouthwatering dressings and breathtaking garnishes to the simplest salad.
This recipe was created at the spur of the moment as a side for my steak-in-air-fryer-oven. Sometimes it's the unplanned recipes that yield the best results! I had tons of leftover Mejdool dates after the end of Ramadan, a handful of hazelnuts and some very juicy pears.
I decided to go with goat cheese but feta would also work well if that's a preferred cheese for you. For the greens I love using microgreens but arugula is also a good option if you're not a fan of the former.
Given the density of flavors, I felt that infused oil and vinegar was sufficient as a dressing and kept the dressing light. If you don't have access to these I would suggest a light vinaigrette of your choice instead. The sprinkle of flowers on top gives a nice taste as well as a pretty finish.
The best part!? The salad is ready in 15 minutes! Hope you try this while pears are still in season! Please let me know how you like the recipe!
Pear, Date and Goat Cheese Salad
- 3 pears
- 8 dates
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles
- ¼ cup broccoli microgreens
- 2 wax begonias (petals only)
- 2 tbsp persian lime infused extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar
- Slice the pears into thin slices
- Pit and chop the dates into small pieces
- Break the hazelnuts into small pieces
- Gently tear the wax begonia petals away from the stem
- Toss the pears, dates and microgreens with the infused oil and vinegar
- Garnish with Goat cheese crumbles, hazelnuts and flower petals and enjoy