Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Warm Pear Salad makes a grand entrance at garden party

A new definition of garden party was born. For Father’s Day our daughter and I pooled the yield of our respective summer gardens to honor the fathers in our midst—a really memorable way to celebrate that dad-honoring day.

What a colorful table as fresh yellow squash, zucchini, onions, corn, and peaches were served in various dishes! 

My contribution was Warm Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese, made with pears from our abundant pear tree. This year our faithful pear is trying to out-produce its garden-mate, the prolific peach. I plunked some sliced fresh pear slices into a skillet and sautéed them in butter and sugar until they were tender. 

The pears then were tossed with spinach, toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese shavings, and a honey-mustard vinaigrette. It brought back memories of a Warm Pear Salad that an innovative chef served us only a few weeks ago during our joint family vacation in Hawaii. I was happy to attempt to recreate his dish on the U.S. Mainland and bring back happy memories of our visit.

Warm Pear Salad was just the right combination of sweet, salty, nutty, and leafy. It helped make some dads (other diners, too) pretty happy.

Warm Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 pears—peeled, cored, and cut into 1/3-inch slices
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
pinch of salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved to garnish
8 cups mesculun greens, washed and dried (I used fresh spinach)

In a small bowl combine vinegar, honey, mustard, lemon, salt, and pepper. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Toss the pear slices in the sugar and add to melted butter. Sauté pears until they are slightly caramelized but still firm. Add 3 turns of cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt. Remove pears from pan; keep warm. Add walnuts to the pan; toss in the remaining butter to coat and warm through. Toss greens in enough vinaigrette to coat them. Divide the greens among the plates. Top with the pear slices and walnuts. Shave some Parmesan cheese on top. Add extra vinaigrette if desired. Makes 4 servings. (Source: www.thedragonskitchen.com)

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