Recipe: Schnitzel and Pear Salad with Wheat Beer Vinaigrette

Recipe: Schnitzel and Pear Salad with Wheat Beer Vinaigrette

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Kelli Foster
Oct 5, 2016
(Image credit: Christine Han)

Skip the bacon crumbles, dry chicken, and chopped ham, and let schnitzel be the meat that makes your salad a meal. Tucked into a green salad topped with sweet red pears, blue cheese, and a honey-beer dressing, crispy, juicy schnitzel brings some Oktoberfest flair to the dinner table.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Using Beer to Enhance Your Salad

If the promise of juicy schnitzel is what lured you to this recipe, then we've done our job well. If the honey-wheat beer vinaigrette is what brings you to make this over and over again, then we've earned a gold star, because it's just that good.

Start with your favorite wheat beer. From there, it's mixed with a splash of white wine vinegar, along with Dijon and honey to help the dressing emulsify and smooth out some of the bitterness. The carbonation flattens out and the sharp taste of beer is replaced with a mellow, sweet vinaigrette with hoppy undertones that highlights the richness of juicy schnitzel.

Get a recipe: How To Make Juicy, Crispy Schnitzel

Schnitzel and Pear Salad with Wheat Beer Vinaigrette

Serves 4

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup wheat beer
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil

For the salad:
2 small heads frisée, trimmed and torn into pieces
1 medium romaine lettuce heart
1 medium red pear, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

For the schnitzel:
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Make the vinaigrette: Whisk the beer, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt together in a medium bowl until well-combined. While whisking, stream in the olive oil to create a thick emulsion. Once all of the olive oil is added, whisk for another minute to thicken; set aside.

Make the salad: Cut the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Mix together the frisée, romaine, and pear in a large bowl; set aside.

Make the schnitzel: Working with 1 or 2 pieces at a time, place the pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or bottom of a heavy saucepan until about 1/4-inch thick. Season the pork on both sides with the salt and pepper.

Place the flour and breadcrumbs onto 2 separate large plates. Whisk together the eggs in a wide, shallow bowl until lightly beaten. Working with one at a time, lightly coat each piece of pork with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing so each piece is fully coated. Place on a baking sheet or large plate.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, as to not crowd the pan, add the pork. Fry until the pork is cooked through and golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the schnitzel to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch-wide slices.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad greens and toss to combine. Divide the greens between plates, then top with the sliced schnitzel and blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The vinaigrette can be made 1 day in advance, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. The rest of this salad is best made and eaten fresh.
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