shaved pear salad

Summer days.

They go by so quickly, don't they? One minute you're thinking "What am I going to do for six whole weeks?!", and the next minute you're back at work feeling like summer was a world away.


A remarkable part of my job is a guaranteed holiday every summer. Here at the Staatsballett we get exactly 65 days, but it differs from one company to the next.

As a dancer, we don't get winter holidays: we're busy dancing throughout the Christmas and New Year's period. We don't get vacation days either, so we can't take a week off to go to Burning Man, or take a few days off for a macaron-tour of Paris, no matter how legitimate those reasons might seem. We want to, but we can't.

However, trade that all in exchange for six consecutive weeks of summer? Yes, please.


Now I'm not one to dwell on the past, but this summer was epic. I did everything there was to do.

  • I was photographed in an abandoned church by Luis Pons in Detroit. ^^
  • I looked for Leandra Medine, founder of my favorite blog The Man Repeller, on Bowery... An unsuccessful endeavor.
  • I was featured in Harper's Bazaar and Elle
  • I was filmed by Harpo productions whilst in class with Misty Copeland.
  • AND I became friends with a stray cat named Chelsea. How do I know it was named Chelsea? I don't.

Long promotional section aside, I'm back in Berlin and ready for another season with the Staatsballett.

I always find it interesting coming back to work again. No matter how much dancing I do in the summer to get back in shape and ready for the season, I'm still always sore and exhausted for a couple of days at the beginning. I'm sure jet-lag also doesn't help.

On days like these, cooking seems way out of the picture. That's where this post comes along. 

I present to you my go to recipe for the days when you really can't be bothered to cook, which, let's face it - are most days for most of us.

I've made this salad a countless amount of times and it's still something I enjoy munching on. It's sweet, it's tangy, it's crunchy. There's a minimal amount of washing-up to be done afterwards, and you'll feel so good for eating green leaf things that you won't even care.

(A secret between the two of us - I feel bad calling this a recipe. It's so easy. You just bung a whole lot of veg in a bowl, dress it and then take it out to dinner. Haha. But in all seriousness, add whichever vegetables you like, change up the nuts, substitute balsamic vinegar for the lemon, or even add some chicken. No one will call the recipe-police on you.) 


Shaved Pear Salad

**Serves two as a starter**

1 generous handful of rocket
4 lettuce leaves
1 crispy pear
1 carrot
small handful of pitted dates, about 5-7
handful of almonds, chopped

juice of half a lemon
1/2 tbs honey
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry your lettuce and rocket leaves. Chop in to bite sized pieces. Add to a big bowl.
Peel your carrot and continue to shave off ribbons from the carrot with your peeler.
Cut your pear into thin slices. As thin as you can manage.
Run through the dates with a knife, leave them on the chunkier side.
Add everything to the bowl of lettuce along with the almonds. Drizzle with the honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Give it a toss, and serve!
(If you're making this ahead of time, squeeze some lemon juice over the pears to prevent browning, and leave the dressing to the last minute.)

Instagram [#ballerinachef] and enjoy!


One last thing - patriciazhou.com got a facelift. Mind going over and giving her some compliments?

Happy munching!

xx p

© 2014 The Ballerina Chef