By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons
My flowerpot-based salad garden got a slow start this year. Fall was hot and dry and my first planting of spinach was a loss, but November provided a combination of rain and sunny days boosting growth of arugula, red leaf lettuce, romaine, mustard, Boston lettuce, Simpson lettuce, green onions and curly parsley. I'm delighted with being able to daily pick fresh greens for salads and soups.
Tomorrow, I plan to start seeds for a winter greens selection and try another salad recipe. Stay in touch because I'm eager to test a recipe for cane syrup vinaigrette to drizzle over squash and pears or apples.
The Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette featured today is one of Tracey Koch's wonderful recipes. She is a food columnist for 225 Magazine in Baton Rouge, LA.
Pear Salad With Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette can be a light supper or luscious tasting side for pork or chicken.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Pear Salad With Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
Serves 6. Recipe is by Tracey Koch, a food columnist and children's cookbook author in Baton Rouge, LA.
1 head butter lettuce (Boston or Bibb)
3 ripe pears
¼ cup pepper jelly
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup roasted pecans
Wash and dry the lettuce and tear it into bite-size pieces.
Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to toss salad.
Peel, core and dice pears and put them in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pepper jelly, vinegar and oil. Drop the diced pears into this vinaigrette before putting them in a bowl with the lettuce.
Toss the lettuce, pears and vinaigrette, grated Cheddar and pecans together and serve immediately.
Testing note: Tabasco-brand pepper jelly works well in this vinaigrette. I also made the salad with a red raspberry pepper jelly, but had to strain the jelly to remove the raspberry seeds – pretty, but a bother.
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