Another weekend, another big salad! Two weekends ago, I brought a blackeyed pea and Canadian bacon salad to a potluck, where it was a big hit. This weekend, I was asked to bring a salad to a family get-together for my aunt’s birthday. Since I don’t like repeating myself (and I wanted new food content for the blog), I came up with a delicious seasonal salad that’s perfect for autumn. Here’s how to make an easy and healthy marinated pear and celery salad.
You’re gonna start with the dressing. It’s super simple: 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons honey, whisked together. Combine them in a good-sized bowl, because you’ll be adding other ingredients to it.
Now it’s time to start slicing and dicing. Core and chop two ripe pears. I like red pears, because of the color, but use your favorite pear.
Once they’re chopped, immediately add them to the dressing bowl and toss them around. You want to coat them in the dressing quickly, because the acid in the vinegar will prevent the pears from turning brown.
Next, slice 5 stalks of celery. I tend to go pretty thin.
Next I added half a container of cherry tomatoes, which I sliced in half.
I added the celery and tomatoes to the dressing bowl.
Then, I washed and dried an entire head of butter lettuce. I got to use one of my Spin’n Stor bags, which is a clever and effective alternative to a salad spinner. Once the lettuce was washed and dry, I ripped some of the bigger pieces into smaller ones. I also added a handful of watercress – about 1/2 cup or so – just because I had it in my fridge and wanted to use it up.
The lettuce mixture (which I forgot to photograph) went into the big bowl that I was going to use to take the salad to the party, and then I added the pear, celery, tomato and dressing mixture.
Time for two more final ingredients. First, 1/2 cup Feta cheese (which I also forgot to photograph – sorry for the brain farts!), and some pepitas. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, and given the proximity to Halloween, I thought they’d make a nice addition and add a little crunch.
It would’ve been really fun to use home-roasted pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin I had turned into a jack-o-lantern… but, alas, I did not carve one this year. Good thing the store had them! That bag was 1/2 cup – the perfect amount. (You may need to look in the Latin foods section of your store for pepitas.)
My bowl was a Tupperware bowl that had a lid, so I just popped the lid and shook shook shook everything up to mix it.
It didn’t look super pretty in the bowl. It looked much more pretty on the plate:
OK – confession time: I added the word “marinated” to the title of this dish in a CMA (cover my ass) move. The honest truth is that a good hour passed between when I finished the salad and when it was served, and the lettuce got a bit soggy. I thought if I used the word “marinated” it would seem like that was an intentional decision. Granted, it’s not a lettuce-based salad, and butter lettuce is limp to begin with, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but when I make this salad again, I’m going to leave the lettuce out until the very last minute. You should do the same.
That said, the salad is delicious, even if the lettuce was a bit wilted. The celery and pepitas add a nice crunch, the Feta adds some creaminess, and it’s light and refreshing.
Keep it up, David!
PS: This salad is inspired by a recipe I found online, which you can read here, but I made a number of my own changes and additions.
PPS: Want some more recipes? Check out my Recipes page – over 40 dishes and counting!