The best fruit salad recipe ever: Pears, jalapeños, goat cheese

Having seen an Instagram post that featured jalapeños (see IG @smalltowncook below) I thought, “Hmm. Jalapeños sound good to me right about now. Wonder if I could make up the best fruit salad recipe ever?


Huh?!

First, check out this fire-breathing, puke-inducing, mascara-running chili-eating contest. They start with a jalapeño and end with a Carolina Reaper, which is 640 times hotter than our little green friend.

(Toward the end, one guy looks like he’s trying to determine if he shat his pants, if he could only remember where his ass was.)

Yeah. I thought first about jalapeños — who even thinks about them before the meat or cheese or tortillas they go with? — and only then what I could use to balance out that heat. Basically, I wanted jalapeños and I wanted them soon.

In my mind are the many foods I’ve eaten over the years, and most have rented small connecting cubicles. Like an open office design.

They speak to one another occasionally, so I concocted a fruit salad using cool, ripe pears as the base. Those, plus jalapeños and goat cheese are the main ingredients, plus a couple more chatty cubicle mates: honey, cumin, red onion and pecans.

Topped with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette that I slightly modified from this AllRecipes version.


Pear salad with honey-roasted jalapeños and goat cheese

A new take on the classic fruit salad, combining the silky cold of a pear with the heat of a Texas jalapeño and smokiness of goat cheese.
Prep Time20 mins
Active Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fruit salad
Yield: 2 servings
Author: Howard Freeman
Cost: 15

Equipment

  • Food processor

Materials

SALAD

  • 3 medium red jalapeños Green jalapeños are fine, but red gives the dish more color pop.
  • 2 dash cumin
  • 2 Tbsp fresh honey Preferably local Texas honey
  • 3 large pears, organic I used green Anjou, but use whatever is in season. I chose a green pear to contrast with the red pepper
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cu. crushed pecans
  • 1/4 red onion (optional)

DRESSING

  • Food processor
  • 1 cu Fresh raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp Organic sugar
  • 2/3 cu Organic balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cu Olive oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Fresh honey (preferably from Texas)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

PREPARE DRESSING

  • Add sugar to raspberries and set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture is juicy. Add raspberries to food processor and chop/grind to rough mixture.
  • While raspberries are sitting, warm honey in microwave on low power until soft and pourable, about 10 seconds.
  • Pour berry mixture into Ball or mason jar with a lid; add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Cover jar with lid and shake until dressing is mixed well. Store any extra dressing in refrigerator.

SALAD

  • Pre-heat oven to broil
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Slice peppers width-wise, retaining seeds for desired level of heat (more seeds, more heat)
  • Warm in microwave or on stovetop until stir-able
  • Peppers and honey in shallow bowl, making sure peppers are well-covered
  • Place peppers onto parchment-covered baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with cumin. Be careful not to add too much cumin.
  • Roast peppers for 5-10 minutes or until brown on edges. Keep eye on peppers and parchment paper.
  • While peppers are roasting, slice red onion into thin slivers
  • Cut pears into 1-inch cubes, cover to avoid browning and put aside
  • Remove peppers from oven and place into mixing bowl.
  • Combine elements into mixing bowl and toss well, being careful with pears since they may be soft.
  • Divide the mixed salad into individual bowls
  • Crumble goat cheese and pecans over each salad
  • Add vinaigrette over salad; DO NOT MIX or pears may become mushy
  • Drizzle additional honey over salad if desired

Notes

best fruit salad everbest fruit salad ever
Looking back, I found at least three ways to improve this recipe:
  1. Salad can turn brown and mushy if pears are too ripe. Consider using mangos, apples, or another fruit that won’t break down.
  2. Add a mint sprig for more color pop.
  3. Consider using pomegranate instead of raspberries for dressing!
 
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