Recently the lovely Naomi from Anges Rose sent me a selection of beautiful infused oils and vinegars to try. I’ve been experimenting with them in my kitchen and loving the results.
I had never had Damson vinegar before this, and I can’t imagine how I managed to miss out on something so delicious! It lends a beautiful flavour to vinaigrette and makes this salad something really special.
Damsons are a plum introduced to England by the Romans, and brought to the United States by settlers before the American Revolution. They are a bit tart for eating, but they make gorgeous jams, jellies, brandies and vinegars.
I used a bag of pre-washed spinach for this salad but if you are less lazy than I am you can buy it loose and wash it yourself, which is definitely better for you.
1 medium bag (about 8 to 9 ounces, or 3 or 4 cups) of washed spinach
2 ripe pears
½ to ¾ cup pecans
3 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons Damson vinegar
1 teaspoon runny (liquid) honey
Put the walnut oil, Damson vinegar and honey in a shaker or clean jam jar with a lid, and shake the ingredients all together.
Slice the pears in quarters (do not peel) and remove the stem and seeds. (This would be lovely with red skinned pears too.) Slice each of the quarters in three to four long pieces. Place them in a salad bowl with the spinach and the pecans and toss together. Drizzle the dressing over the top and then gently toss the salad. Serve immediately.