Spinach, Pear, and Shaved Parmesan Salad | Reader's Digest

Spinach, Pear, and Shaved Parmesan Salad

A spinach salad, especially one with ripe fall pears, is a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table. The salad can be served in a large bowl as part of a buffet, or on individual salad plates alongside the main course.

By Diane Morgan from The Thanksgiving Table
Spinach, Pear, and Shaved Parmesan SaladPhoto copyright © 2001 by John A. Rizzo

With all the cooking you’ll be doing, save yourself some time and buy the packaged, pre-washed and trimmed baby spinach. The greens stay fresh for several days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, stemmed, rinsed, and dried
  • 2 Bosc pears (do not peel), quartered lengthwise, cored and cut into long, thin slices
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

    How to make it 


  • 1

    Place the spinach and pears in a large serving bowl. Scatter the cheese on top.

  • 2

    To make the dressing: In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

  • 3

    When ready to serve, give the dressing a last-minute shake and pour over the salad. Toss gently to keep the pear slices intact, and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Cook’s Note
I prefer the taste of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and recommend using it for this salad. To coarsely grate the cheese, use either the coarse side of a box grater or the medium shredding disk of a food processor.

Excerpted from The Thanksgiving Table: Recipes and Ideas to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition by Diane Morgan. Text copyright © 2001 by Diane Morgan. Photos copyright © 2001 by John A. Rizzo.