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Fried Oyster and Pear Salad

Yield 8 servings
This showy French salad has much to offer--fresh greens, juicy pears, crisp fried oysters, and a honey-balsamic vinaigrette. It's also very good without the oysters.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (12-ounce) containers fresh Select oysters, drained
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 cups loosely packed gourmet mixed salad greens
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 ripe red Bartlett pears, unpeeled and thinly sliced

How to Make It

  1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients; set aside.

  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Dredge oysters in cornmeal mixture. Pour oil to depth of 2" into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Fry oysters, a few at a time, 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Set aside, and keep warm.

  3. Arrange greens, green onions, pear slices, and oysters on individual plates. Drizzle dressing over salads. Serve immediately.

  4. Note: Fry the oysters ahead; then reheat them just before serving in a 450° oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp.

  5. *Herbes de Provence is a dried herb blend consisting of herbs common to Southern France. Find the blend in tiny earthenware crocks in specialty kitchen shops. For a simple substitution use 1/2 teaspoon each crushed lavendar and rosemary leaves.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002