FvF Cooks in Stockholm: Roasted Pear Salad
Lunch #3: Pear, Beetroot and Pecan Salad
Journal > FvF Cooks in Stockholm: Roasted Pear Salad

It’s often remarked in a disparaging tone that “no great story ever starts with a salad” since a salad is stereotypically associated with boring, bland greens far from an explosion of taste or decadent pleasure.

But, we tend to disagree and we’ve enlisted the help of Belén Vazquez Amaro for a case in point. Upon seeing and tasting this roasted pear salad with a confluence of approachable and exotic ingredients maybe you’ll rethink the statement as a previous non-believer or smugly say you had been convinced of the salad’s power all along.

This brief text could even be read as somewhat of a guide and ode to salads – the underestimated or often misunderstood dish on our tables. A salad is essentially a mix of chopped up ingredients seasoned with some kind of dressing. Because of this ratatouille-ish description, there’s no question that ornamentation is key in how one presents such a dish to appeal visually. But what comprises a good salad? Surely, color, textures, high notes as well as understated flavors are equally important. A good salad shouldn’t be smeared in a profusion of dressings neither should it be completely naked with only water drops decorating its green protagonists. A good salad should work towards enhancing the taste of its vegetables and greens while retaining a certain balance. A good salad has to be mixed well with gentle movements – we all hate a forkful of bare greens followed by another of ones soaked in vinaigrette. The range of materials that goes into a salad bowl demands for good distribution of textures and flavors. And let’s not forget to never overdress! Think of your salad as a finely clad lady, not loud and vulgar.

Under the union of a simple or complex vinaigrette, some characteristics will be more prominent at times and more discreet at others. The homogenous nature of the salad allows for each ingredient to shine both independently and in unison with the rest of the bowl’s occupants. A salad challenges the cook to cultivate flavor and repeatedly disprove the dish’s monotonous reputation by combining different parts and toppings to accentuate the overall experience. A good salad should also be flexible to either satisfy the appetite if nothing else follows or prepare the taste buds for further indulgence in subsequent dishes.

Finally, salads, more so than any other dish, encourage even the most inexperienced cooks to bravely experiment with their components whether abiding to the previous ‘testament’ or not. As a salad is possibly the least intimidating of meals in a way, one can even go so far as to state that it’s possibly the most democratic one as well, the equalizer of chances for ingredients and cooks alike.

The Roasted Pear Salad is about colors and textures, a combination between sweet and sour, soft and crunchy – something inviting for the entire spectrum of senses. By simply roasting a pear, the result is so delectable that anything that comes after is bound to further evolve the taste level.

Roasted Pear Salad with Burgundy Notes

For the Pears

  • 8 small pears

  • 1 orange

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Fresh rosemary

  • A pinch of ginger powder

  • A pinch of sea salt

For the Salad

  • Fresh spinach and green kale

  • lemon cayenne

  • 3-4 beetroots

  • 2 oranges

  • Sprouts

For the Nuts

  • 1 cup cranberries

  • 1 cup pecan nuts

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • A pinch of sea salt

For the Dressing

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 orange (juice)

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper

Method

Peel and cut the pears into halves, and place them on an oven tray. Squeeze the orange juice into a bowl and then, whisk it together with the maple syrup, olive oil, sea salt and ginger powder. Cut some fresh rosemary leaves and add them into the mix. Brush the pears with the orange-rosemary juice.

Rinse and drain the greens. Peel and slice the oranges for the salad. Remove the skin from the beets and cut into small squares. Sprinkle them with some olive oil and roast them in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.

For the added nut mix, combine all the ingredients together and place in a saucepan. Roast the nuts, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

For the dressing: Mix and whisk all the ingredients. Finally, combine the prepared pears, vegetables, nuts and dressing in a nice bowl to finish off your salad.

Belén, thank you for this colorful power salad. And many thanks to House of Radon for the space, Albin Holmqvist and Caro Crespi for helping out and Karin Eriksson for some of the ceramics depicted in the series.

Stay tuned as Belén will prepare one more vegan lunch for us next week. Try out the previous two lunch dishes she prepared for us. Can’t get enough of our food stories? Then, have a look at our FvF Cooks section and don’t forget to revisit our previous FvF Breakfast Series with Marta Greber.

Photography: Marta Vargas
Text: Effie Efthymiadi