Now that we live in California, I can grow more than just a potted tomato plant or two, and I love it. A lot of people just let their garden go once the last basil plant of the summer goes to seed, but I like to plant winter lettuce crops like mustard greens, chicories, tardivo, and kale to supplement fall greens like endive and frisée. The slightly sweet dressing balances out the salad and highlights the “good bitter” flavor of the greens. It’s a nice patch of sun in the chilly winter season.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, toss in the pecans and cook, tossing occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet and use two forks to separate the pecans. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the shallot, mustard, and balsamic vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until well combined. Add the honey and Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the salad greens and pear slices to the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat with the dressing. Top with Parmesan shavings and candied pecans and serve.
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