Pear and Arugula Salad
At La Grotta di Zi’ Concetta in Campobasso, Italy, the rustic dishes are simple and rarely exceed three ingredients. This one, which can be a main or a side dish, features grilled scamorza cheese with peppery wild arugula and sweet local pears. Scamorza is mozzarella’s cousin; it’s a salted cow’s-milk cheese made from stretched curds that are shaped into a spherical form, then wrapped with twine and hung up to age, resulting in a pear-shaped cheese—it’s only a coincidence that its flavor goes so well with pears!
INSALATA di PERA, RUGHETTA, e SCAMORZA
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish or appetizer, or 3 or 4 as a main dish
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 pound scamorza cheese, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
- 1 small, firm pear (I like Bartlett), cored and cut into ⅛-inch-thick slices
- 12 ounces arugula
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lightly grease a grill pan or skillet and heat the pan over high heat. Grill the scamorza until crisp on the outside and soft and slightly melted inside, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside while dressing the salad.
In a large bowl, combine the pear, arugula, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands.
Serve the scamorza alongside the pear salad.
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