Have you guys ever had something at a restaurant that you can’t stop thinking about, and you just have to have it again? That’s where this dish’s inspiration came from. I was in Vegas two weeks ago and ordered a pear and snap pea salad from Andrea’s, an Asian fusion restaurant located in the Encore (I think?). Maybe the decor inside was what wooed me, I mean damn- this has “Kelli” written all over it!
We came here by a recommendation of my roomie for the weekend of Olympia: she travels to Vegas quite frequently for work and her name is also Andrea- pronounced “Ahn-Drey-uh.” (I was too lazy to look for the accent mark so there’s that. Surprise, surprise).
I ordered the pear and snap pea salad, served with some kind of vinaigrette and crispy Shitake chips on top, with kind of Sashimi as my second dish- I can’t remember. Both were delightful, but I was really diggin’ the salad. “I can’ make this at home easy peasy,” I thought.
And so this afternoon, I did just that: with a few tweaks of course- because I wasn’t working off a recipe. Just ingredient inspiration!-My version used red pears (I left the skin on) and snap peas. The topping consisted of crispy Shitake mushroom, crispy garlic chips and toasted sunflower seeds. The dressing I just made up on the spur of the moment (or at least I think I did- I’d rather make my own dressings, that way I know what the ingredients are!) was a ginger, cranberry, garlic vinaigrette. Recipe card is below the photos!
Toasted Shitakes, garlic chips and sunflower seeds. Throw the sunflower seeds in last, when the garlic starts to crisp up. The seeds will toast faster because of their lack of moisture- you don’t want them to burn!
This salad wasn’t served over couscous when I had it at Andrea’s, but I wanted to add something to make it a bit heartier, because this was all I had for lunch. I kept the couscous plain, and just followed the directions on the box- the vinaigrette that seeped down from the salad on top gave it enough flavoring!
- 1 1/2 c red pears, skin on, cut into matchsticks
- 1 c trimmed Sugar snap peas
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 c sliced Shitake mushrooms
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced horizontally into "chips"
- 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 5 whole garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp ginger powder
- 3 dashes Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 1/8 c Rice Vinegar
- 1/8 c Ginger Infused vinegar (you can also sub white Balsamic, rice, or apple cider vinegar)
- 3/4 c EVOO
- Salt and Pepper
- 1. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
- 2. Bring a sauce pan of salted water to boil, and add the snap peas. Boil for one minute, stirring. Remove from heat, drain and add to ice water to discontinue the cooking process. (We want these suckers crunchy!)
- 3. In a bowl, toss cooled peas, and cut pears.
- 1. In a pan, add butter and olive oil and heat on high until the mixture starts to pop.
- 2. Add sliced mushrooms and garlic chips.
- 3. Once garlic starts to crisp up, add the sunflower seeds. (add these last as they have less moisture and can burn quicker).
- 4. Remove from heat and let cool. (I used a slotted spoon and placed on a paper towel to blot up excess oil.)
- 1. Add all vinaigrette ingredients (minus the oil) to a small food processor.
- 2. Add in oil gradually to emulsify.
- 3. Pour approximately 1/3 of the vinaigrette over the pear and pea mixture. (I save the extra dressing and use it for other meals).
- 1.Toss pear and peas with vinaigrette.
- 2.Serve over a bed of couscous, or grain of your choice (prepared to cooking instructions).
- 3. Sprinkle the crispy mushrooms/garlic/seeds over the top of your salad.
- Eat it all!!!
- I use a Cuisin Art mini food chopper for my vinaigrettes. It works wonderfully and you can put the blade and container in the dishwasher.
- I store the pea/pear salad separately from the vinaigrette, and the couscous.
I’m feeling good about this recipe, and I definitely think I’ll make it again. I’m especially loving the vinaigrette- I’ve never added dried fruit to a vinaigrette before and I loved the mixture of garlic, cranberry and ginger. In fact, I think I’m going in for seconds now- no guilt, and it’s crunchy and fresh! Yum!
What’s your favorite Asian Fusion dish to make at home? I’m always up to try new recipes!
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