My husband has a severe aversion to pears. I’ve tried feeding him the most delectable, melting specimens of pears in order to woo him over to the pear side. How can you not like a fruit that gets so juicy when it’s dead ripe that there is no way to eat one without juice running down your arm? I’ve tried impressing him with how sensual of a treat they are. I mean – this is a fruit with lady curves. How can you not get behind a fruit this sexy? What the hell is wrong with him?
All of this has been to no avail. The man does not like pears. And despite all my ways to tempt him (or torture him – just ask him about the time I slipped him some pear Jelly Bellies), he’s not been swayed. The taste and the texture do not appeal to him. Since he’s not much of a picky eater, I just avoid cooking with them. However I’m not averse to eating a pear in front of him with as many disgusting noises of ecstasy as I can muster. Don’t feel sorry for him – he knew what he was getting into when he married me. He walked into this eyes wide open.
So, when it came to this week’s Fall Fest ingredient, I overlooked all the recipes that involved large quantities of butter. Because, clearly I would be the only one eating this and my hips and thighs have enough fat stored for the winter. I made this delectable slaw and my husband came in and scooped up a mouthful while I watched with bated breath. He chewed it thoughtfully and said “This has pears in it, right? It’s not bad. I’d eat this.” People – if the pope himself swept in and canonized this slaw, it couldn’t be higher praise than my husband’s words.
This is one of the easiest slaws I’ve ever made and I couldn’t stop eating it. The dressing is addictive – it’s such a simple combination but it’s pure win. I even used fat-free yogurt in it. I’m still not sure how a fat-free item made it into our house but it needed to be used up so there you go. Even with fat-free yogurt, this dressing was delicious enough to make me scrape the bowl with my finger. Although, if I made it again, I’d make it with yogurt that had a higher fat content.
Red Cabbage, Pear, and Cranberry Slaw with Maple-Yogurt Dressing
Adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used grade B)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 medium head red cabbage (around 1 1/2 pounds), cored & thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped, or 1/2 cup whole dried sweetened cranberries (I used dried)
1 large ripe but firm pear, unpeeled and cut into matchsticks
Whisk together the shallot, maple syrup, cider vinegar, yogurt and salt together in a large bowl.
Toss together the cabbage, cranberries and pear with the dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste and let sit for at least 30 minutes. I thought this was best when it had sat for several hours.