It’s fall! And even though I’m buying every peach and heirloom tomato I come across because I just can’t seem to let go of summer ingredients, I am very excited to welcome one of my fall faves into my kitchen: pears! I love to bake them into yummy tarts and cakes, to caramelize them and serve with honeyed creme freiche for a light dessert or fun brunch, to throw them into healthy salads or slaws such as this one, or just biting into a perfectly ripe one for breakfast.
I especially like to combine pears with chicories like radicchio, their sweetness complements slight bitterness very well
Throw in a yummy salty cheese like the classic Spanish Manchego and you have a perfectly balanced salad. I also added some thinly sliced fennel for some anise flavor, chopped green onion and parsley, which add crunch and freshness, and created a lemony vinaigrette with an anchovy in there for some depth of flavor.
I love to serve this delicious Radicchio Pear Slaw with Fennel and Manchego Cheese as a side to my Fennel Pollen Crusted Pork Chops
The perfectly golden pork crust paired with this refreshing and crunchy slaw tastes like you’re having lunch at the hottest gastropub in town! Click here for the recipe
I like the flavor of bartlett pairs, but feel free to experiment with different varietals. Just make sure the pairs are not too ripe, or they will get mushy. Asian pairs would be great here as well. Or…you can also sub sweet, crunchy apples with the same success.
Just make sure to make extra because it tastes just as good the next day. And if you have any pork left over, just slice it up and throw it into the bowl with the slaw, for a fast and healthy lunch.
Fair cooking! 🙂
- 1 large radicchio (or 2 small)
- 1 head of frisee lettuce (optional, can also sub some arugula)
- 1 fennel bulb, plus fronds from the stalks
- 2 medium bartlett pears
- 2 to 3 tbs chopped parsley
- 2 green onions, green parts only
- Manchego cheese (about 5 oz)
- 2 green onions, white and pale green parts
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 small cloves)
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 anchovy, mashed into a paste
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbs honey
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- a few dashes of Tobasco or a pinch of Cayenne pepper (I like a kick in the slaw, so I use 5 dashes
1) Remove the tough white center of the radicchio and slice thinly. Place into a large bowl, cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes. Let the radicchio soak for about a half hour (this removes a lot of the bitterness, which mellows out the slaw). Drain and remove as much water as possible either with a spinner or using paper towels to blot. Place the dried radicchio in a large serving bowl.
2) While the radicchio soaks, make the dressing:
Finely chop the white and pale green parts of 2 scallions (reserve the green parts aside) and place into a mason jar. Mince the garlic and anchovy and add to jar. Add all other ingredients except oil, put lid on jar and shake to mix. Then add the oil and shake again to emulsify. Set aside or place in fridge if finishing salad later.
3) Slice the green parts of the scallions on the diagonal and add to the radicchio. Cut stalks off of fennel and remove fronds. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and add to the bowl, chop the fronds to yield about 2 tbs and add half to the bowl (reserve the other tbs of fronds to sprinkle over dish before serving). Chop the Frisee if using and add to bowl, along with 2 tbs of chopped parsley. Mix the other tbs with the chopped fronds you set aside for sprinkling at the end.
4) Shake the dressing a bit and add half of it to the salad bowl. Using clean hands or tongs, massage dressing into the veggies. Let them sit to soak up the dressing for a bit.
5) Cut all the rinds off of the Manchego cheese and either thickly grate the cheese, use a peeler to slice into chunks, or do a combination of both. Add to the bowl.
6) Cut and chop the pears last, so they don’t brown. Slice into quarters, remove the seeds, tough center parts and stem using a corer or pairing knife. Thinly slice the pears, the stack the slices and julienne, or cut into matchsticks. Add to the bowl and gently toss everything together.
7) Season the slaw with more salt and pepper if desired and add more dressing, a little at a time, until it is well coated, but not too soggy or liquid. Serve immediately or place in fridge. The slaw is delicious the next day as well!
Feel free to substitute the pears with apples