Winter Salad with Jerusalem Artichoke, Bacon and Pear

So I made this intense Marley Spoon salad for dinner today and it had a lot of new ingredients and foods for me to try; some more of a stretch than others.  Making it myself gave me the chance to try each new food on its own as I was putting it together before they were all mixed up.  There are only a few things that I already knew and liked in this which is the cheese and the hazelnuts which are both great especially with the hazelnuts roasted.  So this salad was made up of lamb’s lettuce, endive, pear, Jerusalem artichoke, bacon, sage, hazelnut, and cheese.

The bacon looked different from what I have cooked previously because it was a slab of meat not sliced like you normally see but once it was cooked the taste was not a huge stretch from what I have tried before.

The pear was also not as much of a huge stretch for a new food because I like and eat apples and the pear was pretty similar to an apple in both taste and texture.  The pear I had was not as sweet and juicy as apples I normally have but was still a little sweet and the texture is crunchy like an apple.

The endive was weird and is the same texture as other lettuces and was pretty bitter which I was not thrilled with.

The sage was okay and pretty flavorful as a little spice and retains some of the bacon flavor since it was cooked together with the bacon.

The Jerusalem artichoke was another weird one and I guess is kind of similar to potato in the texture once it was cooked.  For this I sliced it into smaller pieces and boiled it in water for like 15 minutes and then fried it for a bit in the bacon grease with vinegar.  The taste was different from potato and a little bitter but the texture turned out pretty similar to a potato if you had cooked a potato the same way where it was kind of soft.

The lamb’s lettuce was still bitter to me.  Each lettuce I seem to try tastes bitter to me so I still do not really understand if anyone actually likes lettuce or simply just uses it to be able to add all the other ingredients with it because it is healthy for you.  I don’t know, lettuce is definitely one I still do not get and am not thrilled with the taste.

As far as the dressing is concerned this was a honey mustard vinaigrette.  So I like honey which is nice and sweet. I tried a little of the mustard and eek I don’t know about that, very sour to me, and the vinaigrette is very tart.  When I mixed them together I put in all the honey, a little mustard, a little vinegar and some oil together so it turned out decent but I guess it really depends on the proportions you use for this.   This also makes the salad go from all dry components to kind of wet and stuck together with the dressing.

It really is very fascinating when you mix everything together and have the cheese and vinaigrette on everything and take a bite with several different components how they can play off of each other.  I wish everything was more evenly spread out but you can definitely tell when you get a little nuttiness from a hazelnut or a little smokiness from the bacon or sweetness from the pear.  You can also tell though I am not as thrilled with getting a little bitterness from the endives.  Then you also have the play off of different textures as well to consider.  There is a lot going on but I am proud to say that I still tried everything together and this was definitely a success for trying several new things today!

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2 thoughts on “Winter Salad with Jerusalem Artichoke, Bacon and Pear

  1. judyrohrer says:

    Hi Jessica, Wow that was a complicated salad! I have never tried lamb lettuce or Jerusalem artichoke; never even heard of them! I agree with your assessment of lettuce: it is a hard one to get to like and I think most people just get used to them as a supporting bed for other foods. Plus since they are vegetables that are good for you, people like to eat them. Alone they are pretty bland and often biter. I am very impressed with all the foods that came together in this recipe that you then ate. You are making unbelievable progress. Was a bit surprised that you thought pear tasted like apple and was just as sweet. Most pears I eat seem a bit sweeter than apples but there are many types of pears so not sure of which one you had. All and all, a very interesting post. You are doing super in exploring new foods. Thanks for sharing!

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