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Chef John D. Folse's Spinach Salad with Sautéed Pears

Chef John D. Folse's Spinach Salad with Sautéed Pears


6 cups spinach, fresh
2 wild cooking pears cored and diced (local and available varieties may be substituted)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup onions, sliced
1/2 cup red bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon orange peel, grated
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon basil, chopped
Optional salt and pepper
Optional Louisiana hot sauce

Cooking Instructions

Wild cooking pears are recommended for this dish; however, you may substitute any available local variety. The pears will brown once diced. To prevent discoloration, place diced fruit and 1/4-cup lemon juice into a bowl until ready to cook. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon, stirring until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Mix in onions and bell peppers. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Stir in diced pears and cook until al dente. It is important for the cooked pears to have a firm texture. Mix in vinegars, sugar and orange peel. Bring to a low boil then reduce and simmer. Season to taste with thyme, basil, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Place spinach in a large salad bowl and pour pear mixture over greens. Toss quickly and serve immediately.

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