Usually in my family I am the salad maker. For any holiday or dinner, I'm in charge of the salad. And while for most, this may seem like a boring job, I really treasure it.
For me, salad is not just a bunch of leaves placed on a plate, but rather a way to highlight fresh ingredients at their finest. The tastes, textures and even color all must compliment each other in order to make a salad really stand out.
This Asian Pear, Beet & Kale Salad with Miso Vinaigrette not only looks inviting but the flavors are all in tune with the rhythm of Fall. Crunchy Asian pear, which is currently in-season, is wonderful alongside bites of tender golden beets, kale and radicchio. All topped with a simple miso vinaigrette, this salad is also incredibly easy to prepare for last minute guests or big family holiday gatherings alike.
While any crisp pear would do here, I really love the Asian pear for it's light hints of sweetness and extra crunchy texture. Pears are also wonderful to add around the holidays as they are high in fiber which can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. They also contain an admirable amount of Vitamin C which can help fend off colds as the temperatures drop.
Do you have a favorite salad pairing? Let me know!
Asian Pear, Beet & Kale Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
Time: 10 minutes
6 cups curly kale, de-stemmed and torn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced
1 Asian pear, diced into small cubes (see note)
3 medium golden beets, roasted and diced into small cubes (about 1 cup) (see note)
4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
For the Miso Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
1 tablespoon honey (see note)
1 garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
Pinch ground black pepper
1. In a large mixing bowl place the kale and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Massage the kale for a minute or two with your fingers, being sure to tear apart any large pieces. Set aside and let rest for 5 minutes.
2. While the kale sits, make the dressing by adding the miso, honey, garlic and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Season with pepper.
3. After 5 minutes, place the kale in a large serving bowl and top with the shredded radicchio. Scatter the pear, beets and toasted pumpkin seeds over the top of the salad.
4. Drizzle the dressing all over the salad. Toss well before serving.
Any crisp pear will do in this recipe but I really prefer the Asian pear here!
To roast: clean and dry beets before drizzling with olive oil and salt. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 425F. Remove and let cool before peeling off the skin (just rub with a paper towel) and then dice the flesh.
Swap honey for maple syrup if making vegan.