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Arugula Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, Pan Roasted Pears, & Roquefort Cheese

by in Recipe Corner June 1, 2021

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Author: Sheridan Nice, Professional Chef

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A beautiful spring salad is at the end of this post!

One of the ways to eat in a more delicious and healthy fashion is to eat seasonally.

You can certainly buy all of the foods you like in the supermarket, regardless of the season, we could be buying mostly ingredients in season. Instead of buying and eating imported raw materials from all over the world, we should make the sustainable choice and support the locally produced foods from our own region. There are many good reasons to eat the foods in season if you can; of course, most of us cannot do this one hundred percent of the time. Here are a few benefits of eating seasonally.

  1. The ingredients taste better when they are in season.
  2. They are less expensive when they are in season because the supply increases and the goods do not have to be imported.
  3. You are guaranteed fresh ingredients that are harvested while they are ripe and therefore rich in nutrients.
  4. Your diet will be more varied by buying different ingredients all year round.
  5. You are doing something good for the environment by eating foods in season, as these do not have to be imported from outside of your region.

Here is a list of the vegetables available seasonally in my location.

  • January: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas, tangelos, tangerines, turnips.
  •  February: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas, tangelos, turnips.
  • March: artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, pineapples, radishes, rutabagas, turnips.
  • April: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, pineapples, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas.
  • May: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, cherries, lettuce, mangoes, okra, pineapples, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas, strawberries, Swiss chard, zucchini.
  • June: apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, Swiss chard, watermelon, zucchini.
  • July: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, green beans, kiwi, kohlrabi, lettuce, mangoes, okra, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini.
  • August: acorn squash, apples, apricots, blueberries, butternut squash, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, green beans, kiwi, kohlrabi, lettuce, mangoes, okra, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini.
  • September:  acorn squash, apples, beets, butternut squash, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, figs, grapes, green beans, lettuce, mangoes, mushrooms, okra, peppers, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes.
  • October:  acorn squash, apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips, winter squash.
  • November:  beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, leeks, mushrooms, oranges, parsnips, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tangerines, turnips, winter squash.
  • December:  broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, mushrooms, oranges, papayas, parsnips, pears, pomegranates, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, tangelos, turnips.

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Arugula Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, Pan Roasted Pears, & Roquefort Cheese

  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup high-quality extra-virgin Olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnut oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 prunes organic, soft. If you can only find regular prunes, soak in hot water for ten minutes, drain, chop finely
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Arugula, small box for 4 servings
  • 2 pears, ripe, but not dead ripe, remove the core, cut into slices
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs turbinado sugar

Place the egg in a hand blender jar, or a wide-mouth mason jar. Using an immersion blender, blend from the bottom while slowly pouring in the oils, until completely emulsified.

Add the orange juice, orange zest, prunes, garlic, salt, and pepper, blending until well combined.

Melt butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, sprinkle sugar over top, and cook until bubbling and dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Add pears and cook, stirring rarely, until mixture is caramelized, and pears just begin to release their juices. This can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Dress the arugula with enough dressing to completely coat all of the leaves. Top with the pears and crumble or serve a small wedge of the Roquefort cheese.

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About Sheridan Nice
My culinary journey includes professional training at École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, as well as Pastry & Baking at the CIA in Napa Valley. After owning two restaurants, a catering business, and becoming a cooking instructor, I am now devoting my time to blogging and teaching. With many years of experience in the culinary world, I'll share tips, tricks, and recipes for everyone to enjoy.
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