Asian Pear Salad

Asian Pear Salad
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Sweet, floral Asian pears are wonderful just as they are, but they're even better in this colorful salad with its mixture of flavors and textures. The pleasure of eating an Asian pear comes partly from its crisp juiciness and partly from its combination of honey-like sweetness and delicate floral notes. This salad plays to the pear's strengths, matching it with the crunch and contrasting flavors of fresh fennel and pistachios. Round out the picture with a sweet yogurt dressing and tart dried cherries, and you have a salad that hits all the right notes.


  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Asian pears
  • 1 medium bulb fennel
  • ⅓ cup cup vanilla flavored Greek-style yogurt
  • ⅓ cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • ¼ cup dried cherries


  1. Fill a small mixing bowl half full with cold water and add the lemon juice. Cut each pear into 6-8 wedges and remove the stem and the core. Slice across each wedge to make thin slices of pear. Drop the slices of pear into the lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.
  2. Trim and reserve the fronds from the fennel and cut off the woody bamboo-like stems. Peel the tough strings from the outer layer of the fennel with a vegetable peeler, then cut the whole bulb into quarters. Trim away the solid core from the root end of the bulb.
  3. Slice each quarter of the bulb crosswise with a sharp knife, shaving it into very thin pieces. Cut these in half again so the pieces of fennel are about the same size as the pieces of pear. Transfer the shaved fennel to your salad bowl.
  4. Drain the pears, blot them dry on a clean paper towel, and add them to the salad bowl. Chop the pistachios coarsely and add half to the bowl. Chop ¼ cup of the fennel fronds and add half to the bowl as well. Add the vanilla yogurt and toss until the salad is thoroughly mixed and all the ingredients are coated with the yogurt.
  5. Chop the dried cherries coarsely with a lightly-oiled knife. Serve the salad in one large bowl or individual portions, garnishing the top with the cherries and the remaining pistachios and fennel fronds.


If you'd rather not use a pre-sweetened yogurt, buy plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it yourself with honey, agave syrup or the alternative sweetener of your choice. Add a drop or two of pure vanilla extract for flavor.

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