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Caramelized Pear & Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette

Caramelized Pear and Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette by SeasonWithSpice.com

From the wreath welcoming visitors at the front door, to the Christmas tree near the fireplace and the mistletoe dangling in a narrow hallway, it’s always a green Christmas every year.  That is, except on the holiday table.

Crowded with all those delicious roasted meats, mashed potatoes, and rich gravy, the holiday table could use a little color for extra flavor, and dare I say it for Christmas – a little something healthier.

Maybe a dish like, Caramelized Pear & Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette.

Pear and Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette by SeasonWithSpice.com

With sweet tender Bosc pears, crisp asparagus, peppery arugula, and crunchy walnuts, this Caramelised Pear & Asparagus Salad is all about layers of texture and bright vibrant flavors. Dressed with a tangy Caper Vinaigrette, and topped with crumbled feta or goat cheese, this dish will look elegant on your table, and bring one more touch of green on this very white Christmas.

Pear and Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette by SeasonWithSpice.com for the holiday recipe

Caramelized Pear & Asparagus Salad with Caper Vinaigrette 
Serves 4 as a starter

2 Bosc pears – cored and cut into 1/2" inch wedges
One bundle of asparagus (about 1 1/2 pound) – trimmed
A handful of walnuts
2 tbps olive oil
Fresh arugula leaves
Crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese

Caper Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp capers
Dash of Season with Spice's Sweet Hungarian Paprika
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
2. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil. Add pear wedges and cook for a minute over medium heat (turn wedges over once). Add in asparagus and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Then add in walnuts and cook for another minute until the asparagus is just tender and pear is softened and browned on the edges. Remove from heat and place on your serving plate.
3. Top with fresh arugula leaves and crumbled feta or goat cheese. Then drizzle the caper vinaigrette over the salad. Serve warm.

- Depending on the firmness of the pears and asparagus, cooking time may vary. Use judgement and apply good control of the heat when making the dish.
- Try turning this salad into a meal by simply adding in a short-cut pasta like rotini.


Rosa May said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katarzynka said...

Fantastic! I love caramelized pears.

Nina said...

Would this also be nice with some haricot verts instead of the asparagus?

Season with Spice said...

They are really tasty, aren't they? I can use them in so many vegetable dishes.

Kankana said...

Caramelized pear is always a winner for me. Be on a cake on on salad! :)

Season with Spice said...

Hi Nina - Haricot verts would work fine with this salad. Food choices are very often personal, so feel free to give it a try. You may want to blanch the beans first before cooking it with the pears. To keep it crisp & tender at the same time. Another variety is to use only the pears and add some fresh spinach. If you like a touch of festive pop of colors, consider grapes or dried cranberries. Even brussel sprouts could work with the combination as well. Just remember to adjust the cooking time. Have fun!

mjskit said...

What a sweet, tangy, crunchy salad! I'll be cooking at the in-laws this year and I really think they would love this! MY MIL loves anything with a touch of sweetness and my FIL loves anything. :) I know it's a salad that Bobby and I would eat every day of the week if we could find asparagus here. And the caramelized pears - one of my most favorite things to eat! Lovely salad! I hope you two have a wonderful Christmas! Stay warm and healthy, laugh out loud, and give the ones you love lots and lots of hugs!

Tanvi Srivastava said...

Hi Reese,
Long time! This salad looks gorgeous with all those colors and textures. Capers and pear is such a great salty-sweet combination here. I appreciate that you are thinking about healthy salad ideas amid all the meat marathon during the holidays :)
Happy Holidays to you and your family!Have fun and stay warm!

Season with Spice said...

Hope you have a wonderful time too, MJ. And thank you for your warmest wishes. They are the ones to keep throughout the year!

Season with Spice said...

Indeed a long time, Tanvi. Always thinking of healthy sides during the holidays. After Christmas, I crave even more green veggies:) You too have a nice holiday with your loved ones!

justonecookbook said...

Yesterday I was about to use balsamic vinegar and found out that it was already expired for the past 6 months (and I was using it!). I love capers (did I tell you about it before?) and this sounds like it's meant for me!!! I drool thinking about dressing. Hehee.

Season with Spice said...

Ah, bummer! It annoys me to discover expired food items when I need them. Did you end up using the vinegar at the end? Sometimes I would ignore the expiry date if it doesn't look bad and smell funny;)

Anne B said...

Stopping by from MJ's Kitchen to say hello! You have a beautiful site! And this salad looks incredible. I love adding fruit to a salad, especially in the winter. It just makes it feel more special. Your photos are just lovely! : )

Season with Spice said...

Hi Anne - thanks for stopping by to say hello!

brookeshoko.blogspot.com said...

Just made this tonight for dinner. Loved the pear/arugula/asparagus combo. YUM.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks for trying it out, Brooke!

Elizabeth Lombardi said...

This looks AMAZING! I cannot wait to try it!

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Elizabeth! Let us know when you get to try it.

SeasonWithSpice said...

Fantastic salad! This will definitely be made again and again. Loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!

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