Salad with Pears, Red Onions, Mint and Toasted Almonds

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In preparation, I sliced a red onion on the mandoline at the thinnest possible setting and put them in a container to use in multiple dishes. I took a small handful to use in this salad – perhaps 2 TBSP total. I also sliced a pear at the medium setting, saving about 2/3rds for later and using 1/3rd in the salad. I grabbed a small handful of almonds, cut them in half lengthwise and toasted them on medium-high heat. I cleaned three stems of mint, stripping off the leaves and chopping them finely.

I cleaned and chopped 4 leaves of romaine lettuce and layered it on a platter. I then layered the red onion and the pears. I sprinkled the mint leaves and the toasted almonds on top. I drizzled about 1 TBSP of olive oil and about 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar on top. Some fresh ground pepper and salt and it was done.

The onion was important to balance the sweetness of the pear and the almonds gave it some necessary heartiness. I had originally planned to include chevre but the pear was so very ripe and sweet that I decided against it. It’s a new variety of pear for me called Taylors Gold and it is deliciously sweet and an idea fresh eating pear or for sauces and jams, but perhaps a bit tender for salads. Nonetheless, it didn’t break apart in the salad or turn to mush. As for flavor, it could not possibly be tastier.

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