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Wilted Spinach Salad with Asian Pears & Blue Cheese

Wilted Spinach Salad with Asian Pears & Blue Cheese
For this hearty autumn salad, use Savoy spinach if you can find it—the sturdy, crinkly leaves hold up well against the heat of the olive oil and trap bits of crumbled blue cheese as the salad is tossed together.
  1. 1 ripe, flavorful European pear, such as French Butter, Comice, or Bartlett
  2. 2 tablespoons pear or unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 shallot, thinly sliced (about cup)
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. Pinch of pepper
  1. 1 large bunch of spinach, stems removed and leaves washed (about 12 cups leaves)
  2. 2 handfuls of frisee hearts, bases removed (about 3 cups)
  3. 1 ripe, crisp Asian pear
  4. ¼ cup pistachios, toasted
  5. 3 ounces crumbly blue cheese, such as Central Coast Creamery’s Big Rock Blue, crumbled (about 6 tablespoons)
  6. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cut the European pear in half. Peel and core the half (you won’t need the rest). Mash the peeled pear to a pulp in a large bowl, then pour vinegar over it, and let sit for 30 minutes. Then stir in shallots, salt, and pepper.
  1. Wash and dry greens, and place in a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice and core the Asian pear. Add slices to the greens, along with pistachios and two-thirds of the blue cheese.
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet until just below the point of smoking, when the first wisp of vapor appears. Pour it over the salad, and toss with metal tongs to coat and wilt the leaves. Sprinkle dressing and reserved blue cheese over the salad and serve.
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Chef Annie Somerville

Annie Somerville is the executive chef of Greens Restaurant and the author of the award-winning cookbook Fields of Greens and Everyday Greens. She came to Greens in 1981, trained under Deborah Madison, and has been the executive chef since 1985. She works closely with the organic gardeners at Green Gulch Farm, local growers, cheese makers, and other purveyors, as well as with Greens chefs, planning menus and overseeing a talented kitchen staff.