For Christmas Eve dinner, I was asked to make a simple green salad that would pair nicely with Stone Crab claws. I looked through a few recipes and there was one that stuck out at me.
This salad uses spicy salad greens along side crunchy pepitas and sweet pears. It was perfect with the crab claws and I think everyone really enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed the nice bite of the Manchego cheese. As for the vinaigrette, I will be making it again and again. It was outstanding!
- 4 cups packed arugula
- 4 cups packed frisée (curly endive)
- 1/3 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- 5 large pears (any type will taste great), cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1/2 lb piece of Manchego cheese, rind removed and grated or cut into tiny pieces
- 1/3 cup + 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add in the pepitas and cook until puffed and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Pour the leftover oil from the pan into a small bowl and reserve for later.
- Heat 2 more tbsp of the oil in the same saute pan and add in the pear chunks. Saute for aroubd five minutes and remove from pan and set aside.
- Toss together the arugula, frisée, cheese, and pepitas in a large salad bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil (including the reserved oil from the pepitas), whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing on the salad and add the pears; toss to combine. If you are making this ahead of time, I like to whisk the dressing up in the bottom of the salad bowl and pour the arugula, frisée, pepitas, and Manchego over it. I put the sauteed pears in a tupperware, and then when ready to serve you just throw in the pears and toss to coat!