Wilted Chard, Red Cabbage and Asian Pear Salad

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Asian pears with their sweet crunch are so refreshingly delicious. However, they are the most expensive pear on the produce isle. So, years ago we planted an Asian pear espalier with three different varieties of pears. Asian pears like blueberries or tomatillos need a companion plant to pollinate. Each variety has a distinct color, taste, and crunch. At the same time they are ripe, it is also time to harvest more red cabbage and red Swiss chard. So this recipe came about to highlight their texture and flavors.

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This recipe is a nutritional power-house. Red cabbage and red Swiss chard are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals. The red, and purple pigments of each are called anthocyanins which are antioxidants that fight free radicals and may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits. Organic, virgin coconut oil is a saturated fat that lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases the HDL (good) cholesterol which promotes a lower risk of heart disease. All the vegetables, fruits, and nuts are high in fiber. Nevertheless, this salad is an enjoyable combination of flavors and textures. The ingredients can be prepped ahead and tossed in a hot wok in a matter of minutes. But why wait for guests to try this salad?

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4 servings


½ cup almond slivers

½ cup organic virgin coconut oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Mirin

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup red Swiss chard stems/ thinly sliced

2 cups red cabbage, shredded

2 bunches red Swiss chard, sliced into one-inch ribbons

4 small or 2 large Asian pears, peeled, halved, cored, sliced

¼ cup dates, pitted, small diced


1.     Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the almond slivers. Toss or stir until slightly toasted light brown. Set aside.

2.     Heat the coconut oil, sesame oil, vinegar, and Mirin until the oil is melted and hot. Add the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Sizzle for thirty seconds.

3.     Add the chard stems, and cabbage. Cook for a few minutes to soften slightly.

4.     Add the chard ribbons. Toss with tongs until slightly wilted. Add the Asian pears and dates.

5.     Immediately place the salad on four plates. Top with the toasted almond slivers.

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Linda HierholzerSALADS