My recipe for Avocado, Pear and Chestnut Salad simply comes from combining some of my favorite winter flavors. Conference pears and chestnuts have a similar nutty sweetness which makes them good salad partners. To save on preparation time, look around for vacuum-packed ready-to-use (cooked and peeled) chestnuts.
Although avocado is not usually thought of as a winter fruit, Australia’s warm winters produce really delicious Hass avocados. Here, I serve the avocado in a neat quarter wedge on the side rather than cubed and tossed in with the rest of the ingredients. Served like this, the avocado’s lovely subtle creamy flavor does not get lost amongst the other flavors of the salad.
Avocado, Pear and Chestnut Winter Salad
(Serves 4 as a side salad)
1 garlic clove, minced (use the fine side of a cheese-grater or microplane)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 & 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (can be replaced with any vinegar)
Generous pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1 Hass avocado, cut lengthwise into quarters
12-16 chestnuts, cut in half (if you can find pre-cooked/peeled chestnuts it will save you a lot of time and effort)
1 crisp conference pear, thinly sliced lengthwise
Mixed salad leaves
- Prepare the salad dressing by shaking all the dressing ingredients together in a clean jar with a lid. Allow to rest at room temperature for upto an hour, or refrigerate for longer (it lasts nicely for upto 4 days). If refrigerating, remember to bring the dressing to room temperature before serving.
- For the salad, cut your pear, chestnuts and avocado into their respective sizes and put to the side.
- Place salad leaves on four individual salad plates.
- Put 3-4 few pear slices on top of the leaves.
- Place an avocado wedge on the side of the salad.
- Scatter the chestnut halves over the salad.
- Shake the dressing again and then drizzle it on top of the salad.
- Serve immediately.