Our Christmas tree is up! It’s the first real, live, non-plastic tree to make an appearance in our household. We chose it in about five seconds flat last Saturday with babe in tow, in the signature haste of panicky new parents who are still not very good at this “taking the baby out into the world” thing. (Luke, meanwhile, was just passed out the whole time and didn’t wake up until thirty minutes after we got home. But he could have.) So it’s a fat little four-foot munchkin of a tree that is cheerfully lopsided and very strategically placed in the corner of our living room to display the side with the least lop. But I think that’s what you call “character.”
If our Christmas spirit is in full swing off the blog, evidently on the blog it’s still Thanksgiving, because this is a salad that I meant to share with you all weeks ago (hence why it’s nestled between stuffing and mashed potatoes — though in my opinion these two things could appear all year round). It was originally inspired years ago by a salad I loved at a little Soho Italian restaurant, an elaborate creation with slices of smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, and pear arranged artfully over a bed of greens and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. My favorite combination was always just the Parmesan and the pear, so this version pares it down to just the two; my only other tweak is swapping out the balsamic for a brown sugar balsamic glaze that I’ve loved since I made this, though you could by all means just use balsamic and it wouldn’t suffer in the least. It’s my very favorite salad for when you want to make something that looks elegant and tastes delicious but is actually stupidly easy (which is my favorite kind of easy in these early baby days). I think it would be just at home on any Christmas table as it was for Thanksgiving.
P.S. I apologize to those of you who got more than one email notification for this post! I may or may not have posted inadvertently. Then removed it. Then decided, what the heck, I’ll “leave” it. And in effect, reposted. Welcome to baby brain! Happy Tuesday.
- for the balsamic glaze:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- for the rest:
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 ripe pear, sliced thin (Comice, Bartlett, or Bosc all work well)
- 3-4 ounces (1/3 cup to 1/2 cup) shaved Parmesan
- olive oil, for drizzling
- To make the glaze, combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When mixture simmers, turn the heat down to low and let bubble until reduced by half, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
- Combine greens, sliced pear, and shaved Parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and olive oil, and that's it. Enjoy!