Nashi Pear Salad

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Nashi Pear Salad is a delicious alternative to the typical fruit salad. With just four ingredients, this salad has a simple and short preparation time. The nashi pear taste is something you will love, and it has a slight crunch which adds interest to your plate. Continue reading for the step-by-step instructions on how to make the Nashi Pear Salad.

NASHI PEAR SALAD WITH FIG AND PROSCIUTTO

Combining sweet figs, crispy, delicate nashi, peppery rocket and salty prosciutto is undeniably mouth watering. Easy, no-cook Asian pear salad with delicious, sophisticated flavours.

Fig and Prosciutto Salad with Nashi Pear on a rectangular platter served with breadsticks

WHY YOU’LL LOVE NASHI PEAR SALAD

My mother-in-law told us this year was an excellent year for her nashi pear tree – it was jammed-packed with fruit. So when it was time to harvest the nashi pear tree, we had to head over to help.

With a bucket full of sweet nashi pears in the house, it was imperative to include it in a salad, so I went with the classic pairing of pears, figs and prosciutto.

The flavour combination is sweet, salty and peppery all rolled into one. Delicious, sophisticated salad that will be great for entertaining or just a lazy dinner with a glass of wine.

WHAT IS NASHI PEAR?

What looks more like an apple than a pear, nashi is native to East Asia but now grown in many different countries.

Also known as Asian pear, nashi, have two main types: the Akanashi group with a more yellowish-brown skin and Aonashi, which have green skin. Both have a creamy white flesh.

Nashi are harvested during the cooler Autumn months and best between March – October in Australia.

As the fruit can be quite large and previously with a higher price tag, nashi was traditionally given as a gift as a sign of prosperity or shared amongst the family at gatherings.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASIAN AND EUROPEAN PEARS

European pears like William Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pears are the pears we typically think of. They are smooth-skinned fruit with more of a bell shape with a heavy bottom.

We love European pears for its natural sweetness and juicy, soft flesh when ripe. European pears are generally harvested before they are ready to eat and left to ripen off the tree.

Asian pears like nashi are generally more round like apples and are entirely different in texture and taste.

Nashi pear has a more honey sweetness with lots of juice and a crisp texture. And because they have a high water content, nashi is not commonly used in baking or jams like European pears.

However, you can lightly grill them but best to consume raw and fresh in salads. Another distinct difference is that Asian pears do not ripen after picking from the tree, so it is vital to find the right time to harvest the pears.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN FIGS ARE RIPE?

Like pears, figs are best during the cooler Autumn months. A versatile fruit, figs can also be eaten fresh, stewed, roasted or preserved. Of course, I love fig in salads.

Fig and prosciutto are great together. The sweetness of the figs acts as a counterpoint to the savoury prosciutto. And if you love prosciutto, you should try our other easy prosciutto recipes.

So how do you know when figs are ripe? By touch. A ripe fig will be soft to touch when gently squeezed. Unripe figs are firm and do not give when pressed.

And don’t even entertain the fact you can pick the figs from the tree before they are ripe because, like Asian pears, they do not ripen on the counter, no matter how long you wait.

RECIPE OVERVIEW

Flavours/Textures: Combining sweet honey figs, delicate nashi, peppery rocket and salty prosciutto and shaved parmesan is undeniably mouthwatering.

I love how the savoury flavours of prosciutto and parmesan is mixed with the sweet fruit. With the added crispness of nashi pear and fresh rocket, together the textures are satisfying.

Ease: I love this pear salad because it was so quick to whip up. Simple to prepare with no cooking involved. One of my favourite easy prosciutto recipes.

Time: It takes 15 minutes to create this salad—a few slicing motions and layering together simple ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients you will need to make Nashi Pear Salad with Fig and Prosciutto:

Figs: When choosing figs in salad, look for plump fruit and preferably unmarked skin, but it is ok to have some small wrinkles or slight imperfections.

They are a delicate fruit, so do handle carefully. Best to store figs in the fridge if you aren’t planning to eat straight away.

Nashi pear: There are both green and brown varieties of nashi pear. Both are fine to use in this recipe.

Both are deliciously sweet, juicy and crisp. Brown nashi pears have a more distinct flavour while green nashi pears are more delicate.

Prosciutto: Do ask for thinly shaved prosciutto when buying at the local deli as you want to be able to layer them delicately throughout the salad without creating lumps of meat.

Rocket leaves: We like to make sure our salads are perfectly balanced in taste and texture.

Adding rocket leaves does this perfectly. Slightly peppery, rocket leaves gives this easy prosciutto salad a good kick.

Parmesan: Wrapped tightly in plastic, you can store a block of hard cheese like parmesan in the fridge for around 6 weeks.

Pomegranate molasses: Made from pomegranate juice reduction, you can buy pomegranate molasses at your local supermarket or Middle Eastern grocer.

The tangy, intensely flavoured syrup is delicious with this salad to counterbalance the sweetness of figs and pears and saltiness of prosciutto.

VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Other pears: If you can not find nashi pear, you can substitute with William Bartlett pears. Choose crisp and firm pears for this salad.

Vegetarian: To create a vegetarian version of the nashi pear salad, omit prosciutto from the recipe. The other ingredients would still work nicely as a delicious salad. I feel parmesan cheese would be able to hold up the salty component of the salad.

INSTRUCTIONS

Step by step instructions for how to make Nashi Pear Salad with Fig and Prosciutto:

HOW TO PREPARE THE SALAD

This is a simple, no-cook fig and prosciutto salad. Prepare when you are ready to serve.

Give figs a gentle wash and wipe dry with a paper towel. Figs are a delicate fruit when ripe, so be careful not to bruise too much when cutting.

Using a sharp knife, cut the figs into quarters. Set aside for assembly.

Nashi pears do not turn brown quickly like European pears and apples. Therefore, they are great in salads, and there is no need to add in salted water to stop oxidation.

Cut nashi pear in half and remove the core. Slice nashi pear in thin slices. Set aside for assembly.

Wash rocket leaves and give it a shake to remove excess water.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD

On a serving platter, layer with rocket leaves.

Then take 4 slices of prosciutto and scatter across the platter in various spots.

Scatter half of nashi pear slices and cut figs in between the prosciutto.

Using a peeler, shave parmesan across the platter.

Repeat the process with prosciutto, nashi pear and figs. Then finish with more shaved parmesan.

Drizzle pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

GREAT MAIN DISHES FOR THIS SALAD

Every good salad such as this Nashi Pear Salad with Fig and Prosciutto, need a great main. Here are some great recipe ideas:

Spatchcock chicken recipe is simple but flavourful while this lamb chops with spicy apricot sauce is a real family favourite.

Cauliflower crust pizza, let’s make this a Mediterranean feast! This grain free and paleo friendly pizza recipe would perfectly complement a delicious fig and prosciutto salad.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How to transport this salad?

You can easily prepare and assemble this salad at your destination. If there is limited time or space, prepare ahead and transport on the platter covered in wrap. Drizzle pomegranate molasses and extra virgin olive oil when you need to serve.

Can I make this salad in advance?

You can make this salad during the day and store in the fridge. Nashi does not brown as quickly as western pears. However, as this salad only takes 15 minutes to create, you can easily whip up closer to time.

What to do with abundance of figs

Figs are not always available and when they are in season, best to eat them fast. So what to do when you have more figs than you need for this salad recipe?

NASHI PEAR, ROCKET AND PECORINO ROMANO SALAD IN HONEY-LEMON VINAIGRETTE

 Ingredients

90 grams rocket lettuce
30 grams Pecorino cheese
1 piece nashi or asian pear
12 pieces cherry tomatoes
pepper from the mill
FOR THE DRESSING
45 grams honey
45 millilitres Lemon Juice
10 grams Dijon Mustard
30 millilitres cider vinegar
15 millilitres Thai fish sauce
sea salt flakes
white pepper from the mill

 Directions

Nashi pears are sweet, very juicy and plumb and although not comparable to the European pear varieties they certainly can hold their own both in terms of taste and nutrition.
This salad combines the sweet Nashi pears with the peppery herbal flavors of rocket leaves and the salty ripened flavor of Pecorino Romano. Cheeses and Nashi pears are in a very good match, but Nashi pear is especially suited to stand up and complement bold, strong flavored cheeses – blue vein such as Stilton or Roquefort, Feta and other goat cheeses, and aged cheeses such as the Pecorino, Parmesan or Manchego.

  1. In a bowl, combine the mustard with the lemon juice, Thai fish sauce and honey. Whisk until completely dissolved.
  2. Season with the sea salt and pepper from the mill. As the Pecorino Romano cheese is fairly salty it is wise to keep your dressing slightly bland.
  3. Chill the dressing well until usage.
  4. Core the Nashi pear and quarter it. Slice the individual quarters further into very thin wedges.
  5. Clean the rocket leaves off the stem and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Shave the Pecorino Romano cheese with a vegetable peeler into thin wide strips.
  6. Arrange the Nashi peas, rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes on the serving plates and drizzle with the dressing before serving.
  7. Add the Pecorino Romano shavings just ahead of serving the salad.

Asian Pear Salad

This one is all about nourishing refreshment. It includes spring greens, cucumbers, beets, carrots, nori, and sesame seeds. Dressed in a clean-tasting apple cider vinaigrette, it’s perfect for a warm day or any time you need a light detox.

Prep Time10 mins

Course: Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Korean

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces spring mix salad greens (140 grams)
  • 1 Asian pear sliced thin
  • 2 small cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber), sliced thin
  • 1 cup carrot (80 grams) shredded or julienned
  • 1 cup beet (80 grams) shredded or julienned
  • 1/2 cup nori shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  • Combine all the ingredients except for the dressing in a large salad bowl.
  • Add the dressing to the salad, starting with 2 Tablespoons and mix well. Add more dressing as needed, mixing each time you add more.

Notes

If you don’t have access to Asian pears, you can try Western pears or apples, but the texture won’t be quite the same. Try to find the crunchiest pears (or apples) available.

The skin of the Asian pear can be relatively thick. You can peel the pear or leave the skin on, depending on preference. Slicing the pear very thinly will make the skin less noticeable.

If you’re going to substitute the vinegar, try to use a fruity one, like white wine, balsamic, or clear rice vinegar.

You may not need all of the dressing prescribed, depending on personal preference.

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