I walk my dog through farmlands and watch crops grown from seed to harvest. It inspires me to think of the most beautiful salads. Like this salad of spianch leaves and poached pears from their autumn harvest which can both be enjoyed as starter or a side dish.
Start by preparing the pears as they take time to cook. You may even consider cooking them a day ahead:
Peel the pears but leave the stem and place them stem side up in a pan and pour in the wine (or juice). Add cinnamon and anise and bring to boil. Leave the pears to cook over low heat with the lid nearly closed until soft and red. Allow to cool pears in the cooking liquid.
Place a layer of the spinach leaves on a large plate, cut the pears in wedges and arrange them over the leaves. Peel the tangerines, discard the pith and scatter the segments over the salad. Finally, sprinkle the pomegranate pips over the salad.
For the dressing
Mix together all dressing ingredients to a smooth texture. Stir well to make sure the cinnamon doesn’t form lumps. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.
Tips from the author
This salad is vegetarian. You can add strips of smoked chicken if you like, or If you can tolerate dairy products, you might wish to add crumbled blue cheese over your salad - if you can enjoy nuts, add some crushed walnuts too!