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Harvest Fruit Salad

Pears predate Christianity by 2000 years. The early wild pears were bitter and almost inedible, so grafting methods were introduced to produce more palatable fruits. Since then, some 6,000 varieties have been named in Europe and America alone. For this salad, the Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Anjou, Seckel or Comice is recommended. Among the grape variety possibilities are Flame, Ruby, Ribier and Thompson. Garnish each serving with thin slices of apple and pear.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. walnut oil
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 pears, 1 1/2 lb. total, halved, cored and diced
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) red and green seedless grapes
      in any combination
  • 2 green or red apples, such as Cortland,
      Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh or Pippin,
      halved, cored and diced

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, walnut oil, olive oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette.

In a salad bowl, combine the pears, grapes, apples and pecans. Add the vinaigrette, toss gently to coat and serve. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).