Salads have a rep for being rabbit food or even disgusting (thanks Leslie Knope). But when you know the secrets to combining flavors and textures, salads are great way to get lots of veggies in your diet and actually enjoy it. If you’re a fan of alliteration, you will love this salad just for the name! Regardless, make my Roasted Pear Salad with Prosciutto and Pecans and you will want to serve it with everything.
What’s So Special About this Roasted Pear Salad?
Roasting the pears in ghee or butter caramelizes the edges which offsets the peppery nature of arugula. The proscuitto crisped in the oven offers both a difference in texture and a salty element. The pecans tie in with the pears and then the dressing is lightly sweetened dressing that allows the other flavors do the heavy lifting.
How to Make Roasted Pears
While we’re not technically roasting in the oven, you still get the same effect with a little more control in a skillet on your stovetop. Heat butter or ghee in a large skillet. Add the pears in a single layer and let cook until browned on both sides. Let drain on a piece of paper towel to remove extra butter or ghee, but keep what’s left in the pan to use in the dressing.
How to Make Crispy Proscuitto
Much like the Oven Bacon, making crispy proscuitto is easy, but even quicker since it is ready to eat without cooking. Simply lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 5-10 minutes until crispy and lightly browned.
Is Proscuitto Healthy?
Proscuitto is naturally sugar-free so you don’t have to look for a “no sugar added” version like you do for bacon. Proscuitto imported from Italy is traditionally cured (aka processed but not like deli meats or Spam.) It is also likely going to be free from nitrates/nitrites as well as other additives. Look for a PDO designation if you’re really concerned and want the most natural version. Worried that Proscuitto isn’t healthy? It actually offers several nutrients including several of our vitamin B and mineral requirements for the day!
How to Make Roasted Pear Salad Whole30 Friendly
There are only two modifications you will need to make as this is 90% Whole30 friendly already.
- Caramelize your pears in ghee instead of butter
- Omit Maple Syrup and use 1 tbsp date paste (or use a pitted date and blend the dressing in a high speed blender.)
Ways to Serve Roasted Pear Salad
- Serve it as is for a beautiful first course in a plated multi-course dinner.
- It works well on a buffet since the torn winter greens stand up to sitting for awhile.
- Add roasted turkey or chicken to it for a substantial main dish salad.
Make The Best Roasted Pear Salad with Proscuitto and Pecans
1 large pear
Ghee or butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 oz proscuitto
½ toasted pecans
Thinly sliced radishes (I used watermelon
Thinly slice fennel, optional
1 tbsp maple syrup (For W30 see notes)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp)
6 oz avocado or extra virgin olive oil
6 cups of torn sturdy lettuce leaves (See notes for what I use)
Sea salt and pepper to taste (or Magic Salt)
- Cut the pear in half and remove the core. Cut into 8 lengthwise pieces.
- Heat ghee or butter in a large skillet and add pear. Cook on the first side for 3-4 minutes or until very brown. Flip and cook on the other side until brown. If cooking ahead, warm slightly before serving.
- Place the shallots in a small bowl.
- Heat the apple cider vinegar until boiling in the same pan you cooked the pear, (it won’t take long) then pour boiling vinegar over shallots.
- Lay the prosciutto out on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes until very crispy and lightly browned on the edges, flipping once.
- Pour the vinegar off of the shallots into a medium bowl. Add the garlic, maple syrup and a big pinch of sea salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil until well blended. Set aside or refrigerate for 3 days.
- On a large platter, layer the torn greens, radishes, fennel, prosciutto, pecans, pears and shallots.
- Just before serving, whisk the dressing again and drizzle over all.
- For Whole30ers, use a pitted date or 1 tbsp date paste and blend the ingredients from step 6 in a blender instead of whisking.
- I used a mixture of torn lettuce, arugula, radicchio and baby kale for my greens. I also had some radish sprouts and scattered those on top for extra color.
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