Bartlett pears are juicy addition to summer salad

Published: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 4, 2004 at 2:34 p.m.

With summer comes a delectable abundance of fruit crops, among them Bartlett pears.

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Bartlett Pear and Spinach Salad, made with a recipe from California pear grower Joanne Wiseman, combines pears with smoky bacon, avocados and sweet dried cranberries for a special, fresh salad. It would make a good side dish for a backyard barbecue or can stand alone for hearty lunch.

AP Photo/California Pear Advisory Board

This versatile pear, a national favorite, makes a juicy ingredient in a spinach salad that's part of a collection of favorite recipes contributed by California Bartlett pear growers _ and they should have a good sense of what pears can do best.

Among other recipes are a harvest pear crisp and an easy pear pie. The free brochure of eight recipes is titled "All Our Best" and it also offers instructions for ripening and nutrition tips (details follow).

The Bartlett Pear and Spinach Salad was created by grower Joanne Wiseman of Walnut Grove, Calif. It combines the pears with smoky bacon, avocados and dried cranberries in a salad that would make a good side dish for a backyard barbecue, or could stand alone as a light lunch dish.

Bartlett Pear and Spinach Salad

For the Salad:

10-ounce package washed and ready-to-eat fresh spinach

2 to 3 large ripe Bartlett pears, cored, quartered and sliced

1 avocado, peeled and diced

3 to 4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/2 cup pine nuts or other nut, toasted

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, optional

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, to taste

Combine spinach, pears, avocado, bacon, pine nuts, cranberries and mushrooms in salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad. Toss before serving.

Makes 6 servings as a side dish.

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