Monday, 10 October 2011

Pear, Fennel and Bacon Salad with Warm Ginger Dressing

Only in London can you get 29 degrees one day, and 13 degrees 2 days later. Grr, I refuse to believe the days of salad and sunshine are over. My wool coat is still tucked away in a large vacuum-sealed bag. And before soup and stews and curries take over, here's a salad to bridge the gap-- a warm salad, one not made with the leafy greens of spring, but what fall has to offer. The dressing is really simple, made with the fat from cooking the bacon--salivate-- and some ginger for a bit of needed heat.

Pear, Fennel and Bacon Salad, with Warm Ginger Dressing
serves 1-2
1 bulb of fennel
1 ripe Conference pear
2 strips of streaky bacon (from happy pigs), cut into small pieces
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 tsp sweet rice vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

1. Slice the fennel bulb thinly, same goes for the pear. Mince the ginger.
2. Over medium heat, cook the bacon in some evoo till crisp and its fat oozes out. Transfer the bacon to some kitchen towels to drain.
3. Add the sesame oil to the bacon fat in the pan, saute the ginger till fragrant. Remove from heat and whisk in the rice vinegar and black pepper.
4. Combine pear, fennel and bacon, pour the warm ginger dressing over, and sprinkle with fennel leaves.

The crunchy fennel goes really well against the soft juicy pear, and the sweetness of the pear in turn goes really well against the salty crispy bacon. There's the familiar warming flavours of ginger and aniseed (from the fennel), and I also scattered some fennel leaves around for colour and freshness and because I don't like wasting any part of my food. Everything was very impromptu as it usually is, but I think it worked out fine.

But ok I admit, just listening to the wind outside, I really would rather some soup now. Fine, fine the sunshine days are over ):


  1. You make a great case for this salad. Here we have to let pears ripen for several days after puchasing them. But that's no reason why I couldn't make this.

  2. In Switzerland (at least where I live) you can have now short sleeves in the morning and put a wool cardigan and a warm scarf in the evening. I think it's the "charming" side of the Autumn ;-)
    Your salad looks original, scrumptious and apart from bacon it contains the ingredients I have never put in any salad! The dressing is unusual too. Thanks for so many ideas in just one salad.

  3. Now doesn't that look positively delicious!!
    {Thank you for the holiday wishes!}

  4. Looks fantastic, love the flavors in the dressing together with the flavors of the salad. It's a beautiful Autumn salad.

  5. Wow, what a nice the idea of fresh pear and bacon, all together with a nice ginger dressing.
    Hope you are having a great week and thanks for stopping the way, the water roux method is great, the buns are always soft :-)

  6. yum, the salad looks really yummy!!!

  7. Hi Shu Han, Thanks for visiting my blog, The Café! I see that you live in London - I love London! My daughter lives there and I visit 2-3 time per year. I just returned home about 2 weeks ago after spending 2 weeks in the UK - it was a wonderful visit. I love your blog, you are very accomplished for as young as you are! I was still burning frozen pizza when I was your age!! :) I look forward to exploring your recipes! Cheerio! Chris

  8. There is nothing about this salad that I don't love. Wonderful, flavourful selection of ingredients, beautiful photography and the ginger dressing... fabulous!

  9. I am absolutely loving the combination of flavors and textures in this dish! It looks and sounds lovely.

  10. stephen: thanks! here too, although sometimes I do pick up the odd already ripe pear!

    sissi: well kind of, and anything is better than full-blown coldness i.e. winter. the most charming part about autumn is all the fall produce, to me (:

    emily: thank you!

    carol: thanks!

    juliana: yes, so i've heard! thanks for dopping by too!

    colorwheelmeals: thanks!

    chris: thanks a lot, i think it's because i really love food, so i put a lot of effort into it (:

    kelly: thank you!

    pam: thanks!

  11. Un blog absolutamente delicioso! me encanta!
    Por aquí me quedo a seguirte!
    Un beso grande desde Madrid,

  12. This is a delicious little number! The Asian touches are to die for in this salad! i share your sentiments about the abrupt weather changes, bummer!