The Recipes

Pear and Arugula Salad with Polenta Croutons

Pear and Arugula Salad with Polenta Croutons

A friend and I had the best idea ever today.  We decided to bring lunch and actually leave our desks and find a table to eat at, giving us a change of scenery.  It was glorious to actually NOT eat in front of a computer screen, becoming distracted by every email pinging my inbox.

Note: I always cook my polenta in stock instead of water to give it a better flavor.


Pear and Arugula Salad with Polenta Croutons


- ¼ c. polenta, cooked to package instructions and chilled in a small round container

- ½ of a 14.5-oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

- 1 pear, thinly sliced

- ½ c. balsamic vinegar

- 2 c. arugula

- ½ large shallot, chopped

- 1 T. capers

- 1 T. dijon mustard

- 1 T. white wine vinegar

- ¼ c. white wine

- salt

- pepper

- olive oil

Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small pot.  Let it simmer until it reduces by half; about 10-15 minutes.

In another pot, heat 1 T. of olive oil.  Add the shallot and season it with salt.  Let it soften for 3-4 minutes, then whisk in the mustard and white wine vinegar.  Pour in the wine and let it simmer for 8 minutes.  Add in the capers and cook another two minutes.

While the sauces are cooking, cut the polenta into two disks.  Heat 1 T. of olive oil in another pan and add the polenta cakes.  Let them cook until golden brown on each side; approximately 2 minutes per side.

Plate the greens and top them with the beans.  Arrange the pears on the plate.  

Taste the dijon vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle it over the salads.  Top each salad with a polenta crouton and drizzle the top with the balsamic reduction.

How’s that for a picnic lunch?