I don’t mean to be bossy, but it’s really important that you stop whatever you’re doing and make this fall-time salad immediately.
Consider it a matter of national security. Or at least self-preservation. And taste bud delight.
I’ve lunched on this salad (or a variation thereof) every day since Wednesday, when our Internet and telephone mysteriously bit the dust — which has been happening with disturbing frequency since the weekend by which I mean happening at all; Mediacom, why? — in the heat of my studying for a business midterm. (Oh, yes, I am in a business class. I am learning how to effectively organize nonprofits.) If the connection between reading a textbook and a kaput phone line seems frankly tenuous, I will merely remind you that all the documents for said class are online, and ask you to shut hush. Power point presentations, PDF articles, links to area nonprofits: bah, who needs them?
As it turns out, not many people and not when there’s this salad. An exclamation point salad! And since my test went fine anyway, I am calling Wednesday an accomplished day. Between the seasonal ingredients (many from the farmer’s market, in our case!) and warm temperature, I can’t think of a better October lunch.
Warm Pear and Zucchini Salad
I encourage you to play fast and loose with the ingredient list and measurements below. The essential base is a creamy cheese, pear, something warm and roasted, and a good glug of dressing. And lettuce, of course.
Serves 1 generously
- A couple handfuls of mixed greens
- 1 ripe pear, cubed
- 2-3 Tbsp goat cheese, broken up
- Half an onion, preferably red because they roast up sweeter
- 1 zucchini
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut the zucchini and onion into uniform bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and the juice from half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until soft and browned, around 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: combine mustard and juice from other lemon half, and season with salt and pepper. Working very slowly, whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Rip or cut greens into bite sized pieces, and throw in a large bowl. Add cubed pears and goat cheese. Add the zucchini and onion when they come out of the oven. Toss with dressing, and eat immediately.