Crew will film at Bigham Tavern in Mount Washington Wednesday.
Fig, Pear and Walnut Salad
Apples tend to get most of the love this time of year, but fall also is prime time for a variety of pears. My favorites are Bosc and Anjou pears, both of which are firm and sweet, and when sliced on top of a simple green salad elevate it to greatness.
Blue cheese pairs especially well with fresh pears, so that’s what I always crumble on top. Usually with abandon. Figs are another given, both to celebrate the season and to add a sweet counterbalance to the peppery, spicy bite of arugula.
My fledgling fig tree didn’t bear fruit this year, so I used dried mission figs. If you’re not a walnut fan, substitute pecans or almonds.
If you like, you can add a handful of homemade croutons for extra crunch. But it’s just as nice served with crusty bread, and less work.
1 garlic clove, chopped with a pinch of salt into a paste
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 dried figs, sliced into bite-sized pieces, or 4 fresh figs, quartered
4 firm pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup toasted walnuts
8 ounces blue cheese
3 cups spinach
3 cups arugula
Mix the dressing ingredients in jar with a lid, and shake well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss together with hands. Season with a little salt.
Add dressing, and toss lightly to combine.
Makes 4 generous servings.
— Gretchen McKay
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.