Salad #100 needs to make a statement!
Thinking about how salads have evolved over the centuries..
(Salad #1 …Herba Salata)
It seems only fitting that to highlight a salad that is a celebration of contrasts!
(Salad #100 …Chili Peppers and Pears)
Daunting as it may seem, a salad that stars chili peppers can be a beautiful event!
If you strip away the fiery seeds and membranes of the common chili peppers, you will find a unique taste that is pure chili… and then …add some soft, sweet, and elegant pears … a beautiful combination of contrasts and conundrums. Why not?
The thought of habarneros and red chilis in the vinaigrette may scare you a bit – but if you immerse the very finely minced chilies in the acid of the lime juice and vinegar for a time, it seems that they become a bit more civilized and contribute to a intensely flavourful vinaigrette. The amount of chilies in the vinaigrette can be adjusted to suit your taste – remember that the heat comes from the seeds and the membranes.
And then, it is the queso fresco that brings some sense of sanity to the craziness.
What a lovely experience…
Chili Peppers and Pears Salad
Number of Servings: 4
1/2 of a poblano pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1/2 of an Anaheim pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 red sweet pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped green onions
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped or thinly sliced red onions
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
1 or 2 ripe pears (Bosc, Bartlette, Asian, or Anjou) unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced
Butter lettuce; red leaf lettuce
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup queso fresco cheese – or crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon (5 mL) lime zest
1 tablespoon pear vinegar, white balsamic, or white wine vinegar – or a combination
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 mL) very finely minced habanero pepper – about 1/3 of a habanero (seeded)
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 mL) very finely minced red Thai chili pepper (1 pepper – seeded)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon (5 mL) honey
4 tablespoons (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt; freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare vinaigrette: Combine lime juice, lime zest, vinegar(s), habanero, and Thai chili pepper in a small bowl. Let this sit for a short time (15 minutes or so). Whisk in mustard, and honey. Whisk in oil until thick. Season to taste.
- Place all peppers, onions, and celery in a large salad bowl. Add pear slices.
- Add some butter lettuce or red leaf lettuce. Fold in some queso fresco cheese and chopped cilantro.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad ingredients. Gently toss.
- Serve with extra queso fresco cheese and chopped cilantro over all.
Questions and comments are always welcome firstname.lastname@example.org