Grilled Pear Salad

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Adapted from Louis Osteen's Charleston Cuisine


  • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450°. Heat a grill to medium-high.

Slice onions crosswise into 1/2"-3/4" thick rounds. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp peanut oil, mix to coat, and place in oven for 6-8 minutes, or until softened slightly.

Remove the onions from the oven and grill for 4 minutes on each side, until soft but not charred. A grill basket is useful to keep the onions together.

Combine vinegar, salt and pepper, mustard, and chives in a food processor. Add onions and process until onions are minced but not pureed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and whisk in the remaining peanut oil and olive oil, adding the oils gradually as you whisk to form an emulsion.

(Makes enough dressing for several recipes of this salad. We used some of the leftover dressing over grilled white fish and that was also excellent.)


  • 2 firm Bosc or other pears
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese (Clemson blue if you can get it for a true southern touch)

Halve and core the pears. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 8 to 10 minutes on each side until fairly soft.

Wash and dry the spinach and tear into small pieces. Combine with 3-4 Tbsp of the dressing (or to taste) in a serving bowl; toss until thoroughly coated. Thinly slice the pear halves and arrange over the spinach. Crumble the blue cheese on top and serve.