Early fall gives us the opportunity to combine ingredients that are not usually in season at the same time.
Boil or steam 3-4 beets until you can pierce them with a paring knife. Drop into cold water to cool. The skins should peel off easily. Cut the beets in half, then slice into half rounds.
While the beets are cooking, pan fry 1-2 C. whole shishito peppers in 1 T. olive oil. When they begin to soften, sprinkle with salt. Use a tongs to turn the peppers and remove individuals from the pan as they get seared on both sides. Place in a bowl to cool.
In a bowl, mix 1 T. soy sauce, 1 t. sesame oil, 1 T. olive oil, and 2 T. rice wine vinegar.
Cut the stems off the peppers and then chop them roughly and add to the salad. Toss with the beets in a large bowl, then add just enough dressing to coat the vegetables. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes, then taste and add more dressing if necessary.
Chop 1/2 C. walnuts and toast in a skillet until they begin to caramelize.
Mince fresh ginger to make 2 T.
Peel 1 Asian Pear and then cut 1/4″ thick slices off it. Cut the slices into a small dice until you have 1/2 C. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cayenne pepper and toss with the walnuts and ginger.
Serve the salad with a dollop of pear mixture on top or alongside.