Thursday, May 19, 2011
Grilled Pear, Walnut, and Cabbage Salad
Grilled Pears are a revelation! I honestly can’t believe I’ve never had them before; but perhaps I should back track. Last week the weather was hot, sunny and beautiful. It was mid afternoon, I’d just come home from a swim and I was jonesing for a salad. Not just any salad mind you, I wasn’t interested in simply tossing some lettuce and sliced veggies into a bowl with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. I wasn’t a decadent salad, a scrumptious salad, a salad that begged to be ‘presented’ a salad that would have me gleefully sated all the rest of the day, and most importantly a salad that would impress my husband.
I pulled out the latest addition to my cookbook collection, Vegan Yum Yum, by Lauren Ulm, and gave it a quick flip through. Generally when I get a new cookbook I like to cook exclusively from it for a week or two to get a feel for it, and so far I’d only cooked one thing out of it. Her salad section isn’t very large, but what really jumped out at me that day was the Grilled Pear, Walnut, and Cabbage Salad. I did a quick check of the ingredients. Cabbage I had because I’d purchased a head on a whim a few days before. Walnuts I had in the pantry of course, and I had two pears left that I’d picked up the week before and needed to use quickly before they went off. Happily I set to work.
The salad itself isn’t complicated, it’s just that there are quite a few steps and it takes a good 30 minutes at least to complete them all. From whisking together the dressing, to preparing and grilling the pears, to sauteeing the walnuts. Once the whole thing comes together however it’s like flavor exploded in your mouth. My very first though was "How had I never eaten grilled pears before?" they’re so simple, yet delicious, and who would have thought they’d be great paired with simple green cabbage and walnuts? Really aside from poppy seeds and the dressing there wasn’t much to it, but man was it good. I ate two large bowls full, and it left me feeling exactly as I’d hoped it would. Delectably stuffed!
I highly recommend giving grilled pairs a try. It’s simple. You can marinate them if you want in a sweet salty sauce of your choosing. A few minutes should do, then grill them for about 2 minutes a side on medium heat just until they’re a bit golden and have grill marks across their flesh. Do it and I assure you, you will not be sorry!