In this sweet-meets-savory salad, pears appear in two ways. They are buzzed into a tangy, ginger-spiked sesame dressing—the perfect use for slightly overripe pears. The creaminess of the pear texture allows for much less oil to be used, making this a reduced-fat dressing that you’ll want to keep in your fridge for drizzling over simple greens, too.
The dressing is tossed with luscious chunks of perfectly ripe pears, tart mandarin oranges, crunchy cucumbers, and creamy avocado for a salad that celebrates texture and wonderful simplicity.
Recipe and photo courtesy of USA Pears.
Citrusy Sesame-Ginger Pear Dressing
- 1 very ripe or overripe USA Anjou or Bartlett Pear, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mandarin orange juice
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 large, perfectly ripe USA Green Anjou Pear, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated into segments
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 cup firm but ripe avocado, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, or toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 Combine the pear, mandarin juice, vinegar, ginger, salt, and pepper in a blender and process until smooth.
- 2 Add the sesame oil and blend to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- 3 Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
- 1 In a large bowl, combine the pears, mandarins, and cucumber with 3 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat. Set aside for 10-20 minutes to marinate.
- 2 Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, as needed.
- 3 Add the avocado chunks to the mixture and very gently toss to incorporate them without mashing.
- 4 Spread the salad in an even layer in a wide, shallow bowl.
- 5 Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons of the dressing and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.