In her latest bestselling cookbook, "Cravings: Hungry for More" (Potter), Chrissy Teigen writes happily that she is not allergic to peanut oil. "If I was, my mom, Pepper Thai, would have traded me in for a better, hardier model. Thankfully I can enjoy this toasty nutty dressing as is, but if you need to fink out with canola (or can't find peanut), know that I would NOT trade you in for anyone else.
"The dressing is great with pears, especially Asian pears. Sometimes Asian pears are called apple pears because they're super crunchy and probably also because you need to appeal to the racist customers who won't eat something called 'Asian.' You'll find them in the store, often individually dressed in their own little stretchy foam jackets because they are extra fancy and special (and they do cost a little more than your average pear)."
Asian Pear & Avocado Salad
Total time: 15 mins.
Serves 6 to 8
8 cups mixed greens of your choice (about 8 ounces)
½ cup fresh regular or Thai basil leaves, torn
1 crisp Asian pear or very firm regular pear, cored and thinly sliced
½ red onion, sliced
Sesame Ginger Dressing (recipe below)
1 firm-ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
½ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
In a large salad bowl, toss together the greens, basil, pear and onion. Gently toss in the dressing to taste, the avocado, and most of the almonds. Garnish with the remaining almonds.
To keep the halved avo from browning before you slice it, press plastic wrap directly onto the avo's surface. (Oxygen causes the darkening, so yes, technically you're suffocating the avocado. Sorry, let's not talk about it.)
Sesame Ginger Dressing
Total time: 5 mins.
Makes 1 cup
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
In a blender, combine the mayo, peanut oil, vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, sugar, Sriracha, salt, ginger and garlic and blend until smooth. (Or you can finely mince the ginger and garlic and shake all the ingredients in a jar until smooth and creamy.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
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