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Pickled Asian Pear Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
© Frances Janisch

Pickled Asian Pear Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

  • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN PLUS OVERNIGHT MARINATING
  • SERVINGS: 12
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  5. 1 lemon, halved
  6. 3 large Asian pears—halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  7. 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  8. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  9. 1 medium shallot, minced
  10. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  11. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  12. Salt and cayenne pepper
  13. 4 small heads frisée lettuce (2 pounds), tender green and white leaves only, torn into bite-size pieces
  14. 4 bunches watercress (2 pounds), thick stems discarded
  15. 1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  16. 1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese (6 ounces)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the water, sugar, kosher salt and fennel seeds; stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Squeeze the lemon halves over the water and drop them in the bowl. Add the Asian pears and stir to separate the slices. Cover the pears with a plate to keep them submerged and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.
  2. In a very large bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the lemon juice, shallot and lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and cayenne.
  3. Drain the pears in a colander. Add the pears, frisée, watercress and red onion to the dressing, season with salt and cayenne and toss. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the salad and serve.
Make Ahead The pickled pears, dressing and cleaned greens can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days. Slice the onion just before serving. Serve With Sour Cream-Pecan Scones.

Suggested Pairing

A crisp, citrusy white with an edge of sweetness will stand up to the salty and tangy elements here. Try a lightly sparkling Italian Prosecco.

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