November is here and holiday celebrations will be upon us shortly. The Washington pear harvest this season was a record breaker. The markets are full of delicious pears and this recipe is an ideal one to showcase our local harvest. This is adapted from the cookbook: "Oregon's Cuisine of the Rain". It is listed as a vegetable side dish which would be ideal with your Thanksgiving dinner perhaps, but it also makes a fantastic vegetarian main entree when served with over pasta. Bon Appetite!
Sauté of Spinach, Shitakes and Pears
Adapted From the cookbook: Oregon's Cuisine of the Rain Serves 8
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 lb shitake mushrooms, or other seasonal mushroom, sliced
12 c fresh spinach leaves, torn if large leaves (about 3 lbs)
1 Tbsp thinly sliced crystallized ginger
1/2 c pear brandy
3/4 heavy cream
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 comice pears. sliced
1. Heat 3 tbsp of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over med heat. Add the shallots and sauté until soft. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter and allow to melt. Then add the mushrooms and pears and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shallots, pears and mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the spinach leaves to the same skillet and wilt them over medium heat for 1 minute. Transfer the spinach leaves to a warm serving platter forming a bed, set aside.
3. Combine the ginger, brandy, cream and mustard in the same skillet over high heat, Cook to reduce the amount by 1/3 of its volume, about 5 minutes.
4. While the sauce is reducing, arrange the mushroom pear mix over the spinach bed. Drizzle the reduced sauce over the dish and serve immediately.