Pear and Spinach Salad with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese

by Jaymi Heimbuch

Prep time: 15 minutes  

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 55 minutes 

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1-2 pears, cored and thinly sliced (Bartlett and Bosc are both great options)
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • A pinch salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a skillet heat the olive oil until it just begins to shimmer. Add onions and cook over a low heat stirring often until onions take on a deep golden colour and begin to caramelize, which could take 20 minutes or so. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Once you have washed the spinach, just leave the water on it and add it to the skillet. Cook until just wilted which only takes a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and a bit more olive oil if it seems too dry.
  3. Plate the spinach and top with sliced pears, onions and cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Spinach Soup

by Chez Panisse Vegetables

Serves 6.

  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • 2 bunches young spinach (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

Peel the onion and garlic, and slice thin. Peel the carrot and dice fine.

In a large pot, stew the onion, garlic, and carrot in the olive oil, covered, until soft and translucent. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Prepare a large bowl half filled with ice, and a smaller bowl, preferably stainless steel, that will fit inside it and rest on the ice.

Wash the parsley and spinach and add them to the pot with the chicken stock and other vegetables. Shut off the heat and allow the soup to stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes, no longer. Immediately purée the soup in a blender and pour it though a medium0mesh strainer into the bowl in the ice bath. Stir the soup slowly with a spoon or spatula until it has cooled to room temperature and then remove it from the ice. Quick cooling preserves the color of the soup.

Chop enough tarragon to make about 1 tablespoon and stir it into the crème fraîche. To serve the soup, reheat it to just below a boil and garnish each bowl with a teaspoon of the crème fraîche.


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