An easy, elegant appetizer!
I first tasted the combination of warm beet and pear in Tuscany decades ago and was instantly smitten. Nutritious, colourful and delicious, this salad remains a favourite to this day and makes a nice change from the beet and goat cheese salads that were all the rage a few years ago. I recommend using dark purple beets for the colour contrast they provide, though any variety would taste wonderful. You can cook the grated beets ahead of time if you like and then re-heat them in the pan as you sear the pear slices. Note that for super-speedy prep, you can cook the beets in an Instant Pot; simply sauté for about 3 minutes then cook under pressure for 2 – 3 minutes until tender.
- 3 – 4 beets (enough to yield 4 cups / 1 L when grated)
- 1 medium-sized ripe pear
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar (or more, to taste)
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh herbs to garnish
- Peel and grate beets and measure out 4 cups.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan placed over medium heat. Add the grated beets and toss well to coat with the oil. Add water and cover pan with a lid.
- Sauté, stirring often, for 10 – 15 minutes, until beets are tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.
- Peel, core and slice pear. Put remaining oil in a frying pan large enough to hold pear slices and place over medium heat. Cook pear slices for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Divide the warm, cooked beets among two serving plates. Top with pear slices and a few sprigs of fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
Serves 2; can easily be multiplied.