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Patio Parties & Summer Sleepovers: Arugula Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette


July 30, 2012

Recipe: Arugula Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette

Do you remember the last time you really laughed? Not the everyday laugh you give the barista and her joke about the rain, but the kind that begins in your belly and ends with tears in your eyes and sore sides from mirth. The kind that makes you feel like a child again, like all is right with the world, like you can do anything.

This past weekend my Wine Book Club took our annual trip to Walla Walla where we enjoyed days of delicious tastings, nights of ridiculous dancing, and slow to start mornings shared over coffee and Pringles. Amidst the sultry readings of wine tasting notes (“What do you mean you can’t taste the leather and wet rocks?!”) and epic meals, we all became kids again, if only for a moment.

A brief moment of calm on the bikes.

Perhaps no moment of the trip felt more carefree than our Saturday evening tandem biking adventure to the Safeway, to get mixers for our cocktails, our palettes tired of wine, albeit briefly. The heat of the day was waning, and buoyed by the freedom of our weekend escape, we tied up our sundresses, and loaded ourselves onto the rickety, double-bikes. We shouted and shrieked (okay, mostly that was me), Nadia the personal trainer called out instructions, and the locals looked at us for the fools that we were. Careening around corners and filled with a mix of fear and joy, I found myself laughing harder than I have in months.

My new favorite breakfast spot in Walla Walla. Try the Migas or the Benedict.

Of course, no trip to Walla Walla would be complete without ridiculously good meals. A new addition to the food scene there is a brilliant breakfast spot, aptly named Bacon & Eggs. Everything we had was exceptional, from the Migas to the Heirloom Tomato Benedict, set amongst a decor that is both witty and whimsical, finding a perfect balance of each.

The welcoming committee upon arriving home.

Dinner at T.Maccarones is a must, and while it’s hard to say what was the best, this salad was the only thing we ordered two of so perhaps it deserves the prize. The girl’s were adamant that I figure out how to recreate the addictively pleasing combination of the salty arugula, bitter frisee, juicy pear, and finger licking white truffle vinaigrette. The good news is that this is pretty damn close. The bad news is, you might never want to eat anything else ever again.

Arugula and Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Inspired by T.Maccarones in Walla Walla

Seriously so addicting and so good.

1 bag arugula, washed and dried
1 cup frissee, washed and dried
1 very ripe pear, cut julienne style
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Hunk good parmesan
1 egg yolk
2 TB shallots, coarsely chopped
2 TB champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 TB honey, or to taste
2 TB Truffle Oil, or to taste
Salt and Pepper

  1. Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine the shallot, vinegar, and egg yolk for about 10 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Adding in a very slow stream, combine the olive oil, allowing the dressing to thicken and emulsify.
  3. Add the honey and truffle oil, using more or less pending on how “truffle-y” you like it to be. Add a shake salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl place the arugula, frissee, pear, and pecans. Toss well with the dressing, and finish with parmesan shavings.
  5. Prepare to become obsessed with this salad.


  1. Ann Mah says:

    What a fun weekend and how lucky you are to share many laughs with dear friends. Someone just gave me a bottle of truffle oil and I can’t wait to try this salad — could I substitute another acid for the Champagne vinegar?

    • Erina says:

      Oh hooray! If you like truffle oil you will definitely like this salad. And yes, I think any mild vinegar would do…white vinegar and champagne can be interchanged, so maybe start with that? When I first made it I did the dressing with 3 TB champagne vinegar, and that was too much, so if you’re using something a little stronger perhaps start with 1 or 1.5 TB and then see how it is. Let me know what you think!!

  2. Karista says:

    Love my bottle of truffle oil, and now I’ll have to make this salad. Always looking for excuses to bring out my truffle oil, other than popcorn of course. Sounds like you had a fab wine, um book, club weekend. 🙂

    • Erina says:

      If you like truffle oil than you will LOVE this salad. I kind of surprised myself with it honestly…love it when that happens. Hope you’re having a great week; sun is finally out!

  3. meganpence says:

    I’m so glad you had fun in Walla Walla. Wine, truffle oil, uproarious laughter and food is ALWAYS a win. But coming home to soggy faced puppies is also a win, too.

    • Erina says:

      How right you are my dear! And another girl’s weekend is soon to commence, so I am feeling very lucky indeed.

      So excited for your upcoming wedding festivities!

  4. Terri says:

    So thankful I googled my favorite salad and found you! I am lucky to live in Walla2 and lunch or dine frequently at T Mac and other fun downtown eateries. Your blog is new to me but I’m going to dive right in! If you come back between May and October, let me know (I’m only here 1/2 time). I’d love to take you wine tasting and we can talk cooking and maybe eat (right, maybe). I’m too shy to blog, so I live vicariously through those who inspire me (you).

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Terri, thanks so much for your kind words! I adore Walla Walla and am definitely due for a trip back. Any new great spots that must be checked out?!

      • Terri says:

        I hear we’re getting another sushi place and a wings place with a lot of on tap beer, which will be good in our wine saturated town!

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