I adore pears of all varieties, for they are both delicious and amazingly nutritious. Pears are high in fiber, low in calories, and are a good source of Vitamin C. Further, pears contain a class of phytonutrients, or natural plant-based chemicals, called “flavonols.” Flavonols have anti-inflammatory properties, function as antioxidants in the human body, and have even been associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sounds good to me.
For this simple, ten minute salad, I used a few cute little Seckel pears. Seckels have a yellow-green color with occasional streaks of pink or red, are juicy and sweet when ripe, and are about the size of a kiwifruit. Feel free to use whatever variety of pear you prefer!
Ingredients (makes 2 entrée size salads)
6 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
2 large or 4 small ripe pears, any variety, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped raw almonds
4 ounces chevre goat cheese
Step 1) Melt butter in sauté pan over low heat. Add brown sugar. Stir over low heat for one minute.
Step 2) Add pears. Begin caramelizing over medium heat, loosening the pears often with a nonstick spatula.
Step 4) Divide spinach between two plates. Top each plate with half of the caramelized pears. Drizzle pan drippings (delicious!) over each plate.
The creamy tanginess of goat cheese pairs wonderfully with both the sweetness of caramelized pears and the crunch of almonds. Enjoy!