Q: Is there any way to make salads less… boring? I’ve gotten into a rut of tossed greens with the same combination of toppings.
A: One way to ramp up the intensity of a salad is by caramelizing fruit before adding it to the mix—in this case, we found that pan-roasting pears works perfectly.
Pan-roasting the pears on the stovetop (rather than roasting them in the oven) allows you to control the heat; just be sure to check the pears often to avoid over-cooked, mushy pears. Cutting the pears into quarters is key too: cut them smaller and you risk overcooking them—plus cutting them this way gives more surface area for attractive and tasty caramelization.
Finally, adding some of the balsamic vinegar to the hot pan gives the pears a glaze-like coating that intensifies their flavor and brings out their sweetness.