Winter Pear Hazelnut Salad

At the end of 2017 I was stuck in rut. I wasn’t happy with my writing projects, with recipes or much of anything, frankly. It was time to think about what really made me happy in the kitchen. Do I end my blog? (Umm… No!) Do I stop writing? (Again… No!) How could I get the spark back from my earliest posts, when everything was fun?

Pear Hazelnut Salad

It took a bit of reflection and reading through those first posts again to make me remember how much I loved being part of groups where we would cook through our favorite authors new book. We would interact with each other, just enjoying the process of learning together in our respective kitchens cooking the same thing. Then it hit me. Why not start a group to do that again? So, I did.

The name of the group is Tuesday’s Menu. We’re cooking through Deb Perelman’s new book “Smitten Kitchen Every Day, Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites.” Why Smitten Kitchen? Well, I have been a follower for a long time and most importantly, her recipes have never failed me. I loved her first book and I have to tell you, I’m really enjoying this one too!

I’m also kinda really loving on this Pear Hazelnut Salad. Deb calls it the “Haters’ Salad” because of the Fennel and Celery in it. I have to agree about fennel being something people either love or hate. Which side are you on?

Pear Hazelnut Salad

With Tuesday’s Menu, my goal is to get people excited about cooking at home in their own kitchens. Together we can find new techniques and new family favorites. Who doesn’t want that? Another part of the rut I told you about, was realizing I was only cooking the same 10-12 meals over and over again. That’s BORING! I don’t want to be boring.

If you’re interested in joining the group, the premise is simple. Every two weeks we choose from a few different recipe options (there is a spreadsheet for the year listed in the group), we make the dish (or dishes), then on alternate Tuesdays we share how the recipes turned out. The group is open to everyone and all levels of experience. It’s just to share the fun of cooking! I don’t care about your photography, I’m not going to be blogging every recipe, none of that is required or even needed. It’s a community to come together, enjoy and share what we’re making.

Fennel, Pear, Celery and Hazelnut Salad

A stunning winter salad from Deb Perelman’s newest creation; “Smitten Kitchen Every Day Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites!” Come join us on Facebook in the group “Tuesday’s Menu” as we cook through this beautiful book!

  • 1 small-medium ( 1 pound or 455 gram) Fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, some fronds reserved for garnish
  • 2 or more celery stalks from the center, plus leaves
  • 1 medium pear, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and cooled
  • One 1/2 ounce chunk Parmesan, shaved or peeled

Toss the fennel, celery and pear together in a big bowl, dress with lemon juice, olive oil and an unfrugal amount of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

Taste, adjust and add more of any seasoning if needed. Scatter the hazelnuts and parmesan on top of the salad mix, lightly toss one more time, then dig in.

The salad will keep in the fridge for 2 days, but the pear will eventually soften.

How easy is that? In her notes about this recipe, Deb says a delicious alternative is to swap the pear and celery with blood oranges. That sounds amazing too!

Pear Hazelnut Salad

So come join us, if you wish! We’re happy to share. And if it’s not your thing, don’t worry about it. There will still be plenty of posts and new recipes here for you to enjoy.

Much love to you, from my kitchen.

Sara~

P.S. For those of you interested, I’m on #TeamFennel! I love it!

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