Tender spinach is tossed with sliced fennel bulb and sweet pears in this simple salad that delivers complex flavor. Make it an entrée salad by adding 4 ounces of grilled chicken per person.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped or grated on a microplane zester (about 1 teaspoon)
1 large bunch or bag spinach
1 head butter or red lettuce
1 small bulb fennel
1 Bosc or Green Anjou USA Pear
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra Parmesan cheese chunk for garnish (optional)
In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Grate garlic clove into mixture and set aside. Wash and dry spinach and lettuce leaves. Tear into bite-sized pieces and put in a serving bowl. Cut fennel bulb in half and slice lengthwise as thinly as possible. Cut the pear in half and core. Thinly slice. Slowly pour olive oil into balsamic-lemon mixture, whisking constantly until the oil is fully incorporated. Add Parmesan cheese and several grinds of black pepper. Drizzle desired quantity of vinaigrette over greens and toss lightly to coat. Add the pears and fennel with additional dressing and toss again to incorporate. Use a vegetable peeler to add thin curls of Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6