Fall Greens Pear Pecan Caesar Salad – Bright, Creamy, Delicious
A mid-summer visit from “Pie,” a dear friend originally from New Orleans, of course involved food. The menu included a Caesar Salad. With her first bite, Pie declared the Caesar Salad the best ever. With her vote of confidence, I’ve since made the dressing a number of times, refining the rest of the salad as I go. I’m now ready to share this simplified, knockout Caesar Dressing with you in a bright, creamy, delicious Fall Greens Pear Pecan Caesar Salad. A flavorful blend of crisp romaine, radicchio and endive tossed with sliced pear or apple, scallions and toasted pecans. Enjoy it as an entrée or side salad.
Fear not the anchovies
If just thinking about anchovies frightens you, “fear not. Here they are barely detectable as such, but provide a complex salinity (umami) that salt alone cannot.”
Pierre Franey, NY Times
Did you know that flavorful bottom-of-the food-chain anchovies are also one of the healthiest and most sustainable foods on the planet? Blended into this Caesar Dressing, they add depth of flavor and deliciousness along with their many health benefits.
Rejoice—feisty fall greens have arrived
Crisp, mild-to-peppery, slightly bitter fall greens from the chicory family are at their prime during the fall and then again in the spring.
Definitely some of my favorite greens—coming in shades of pure white Belgian Endive, pale yellow and bright green Curly Endive and deep red-purple and white Radicchio.
Seek these greens out for both their welcome bitterness and light crunch. Then create your own Fall Greens Pear Pecan Caesar Salad: a flavorful balance of feisty greens, a creamy, salty dressing, the sweet juiciness of fall’s first apples or pears and the rich taste of toasted pecans.
You say en-dive and I say en-deev
And we’re both correct. Although the names of these two very tasty and related greens are spelled the same, their names are pronounced differently. Pronounce the name of the loose-headed, frilly green pictured above as Curly En-dive, known as a true endive. However, pronounce the name of the pale, smooth plant in this picture as Belgian En-deev—a plant grown in the dark from the shoots of the witloof chicory plant.
Fall Greens Pear Pecan Caesar Salad
with Homemade Caesar Dressing
This most luscious, colorful fall salad combines crisp romaine, full-flavored Curly Endive and deep red-purple Radicchio with creamy, umami-rich Homemade Caesar Dressing. The first of fall’s juicy ripe pears or apples along with thinly sliced scallions and toasted pecans add additional color, texture and tantalizing flavor. Prepare the Caesar Dressing at least an hour and up to a few days before tossing the salad.
Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as a side salad Printer-Friendly Recipe
1-2 heads of mini romaine lettuce
1 medium (10-ounce) head radicchio
⅓ head Curly Endive
1 large ripe pear or apple, preferably red skinned (2 ¼ cups)
⅓ cup thinly sliced scallions
¾ cup pecan halves and pieces
1 recipe Homemade Caesar Dressing (recipe follows)
- Prepare the Caesar Dressing at least an hour and up to a few days before you toss the salad.
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Put aside to cool.
- Wash the greens and spin them dry. Prepare them as follows.
- Heads of mini romaine: halve lengthwise then slice ½ inch wide (5 cups)
- Radicchio: quarter, core and slice ¼ inch wide (4 cups)
- Curly Endive: sliced ½ inch wide (5 lightly packed cups)
- Just before tossing the salad, halve and core the pear. Or halve, quarter and core the apple. Cut either one into ⅓ inch slices. Cut the pear slices in thirds; the apple slices in half.
- Put the greens, sliced fruit, scallions and ½ cup of the pecans into a large mixing bowl. Toss the salad with ¾ cup of the Caesar Dressing. Adding more to taste.
- Serve Fall Greens Pear Pecan Caesar Salad topped with the remaining toasted pecans.
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing – Simplified
Simplified refers to using your favorite mayonnaise (vegan or otherwise) instead of the usual raw or coddled egg yolks and oil in traditional Caesar Salad Dressing.
Also enjoy this bright, creamy Homemade Caesar Dressing as a very tasty dip with vegetables such as blanched broccoli or asparagus, or as a sauce for a grain bowl.
For the best flavor, prepare the dressing at least an hour in advance of serving it.
Makes 1 cup Printer-Friendly Recipe
Total time 10 minutes
1 medium garlic clove
Half of a 2-ounce tin of anchovy fillets, including half of the oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon homemade cultured country-style mustard, or Dijon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
⅛ teaspoon salt
10 twists freshly ground pepper
¾ cup Follow Your Heart Vegenaise or your favorite mild-flavored mayonnaise
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
¼ cup tightly packed fresh parsley
- To chop the garlic, drop it down the feed tube of a food processor while it is running. When the garlic is finely chopped, drop the anchovy fillets with their oil down the feed tube.
- Stop the machine. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Add the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix just to combine. Then add the Vegenaise (or other mayonnaise), grated cheese and parsley. Process until the parsley is finely chopped.
- Store Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.