I’m in love with beautiful, healthful pears! The beautiful Red Anjou pears appear in grocery stores this time of year and what better way to show them off than in a fresh, tasty salad. Pears are especially high in fiber, but most of that fiber is in the skins. Additionally, pears contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. The red varieties like Anjou and Red Bartlett are rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, a new analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study has shown that among all fruits and vegetables analyzed for their flavonoid content, the combination of apples/pears showed the most consistent ability to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Perhaps we need to adjust the old adage to “an apple AND pear a day, keeps the doctor away”. Wow! Let’s keep eating pears, skins and all!
- Spinach, Pear and Walnut Salad with Tarragon Dressing
- 3/4 pound spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 Red Anjou, Red Bartlett or Comice pears, sliced
- 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 4 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Arrange spinach, pears, onion, walnuts and feta cheese onto serving platter.
- For the Tarragon Dressing: Add oil, vinegar, agave nectar, mustard, garlic clove, tarragon, salt and black pepper into a container of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and process until smooth.
- Drizzle dressing over top of salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.