Salad of pickled pears, walnuts, dandelion and gorgonzola

Salad of pickled pears, walnuts, dandelion and gorgonzola

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
6

I love to use the young, creamy Gorgonzola cheese, sometimes known as dolcelatte (literally, sweet milk). Its rich, slightly sharp creamy texture works beautifully with walnuts and pears. A perfect warm, wintry salad.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200ml red wine
2 bay leaves
1 small thyme sprig
4 juniper berries
50g caster sugar
2 firm, ripe pears
100g freshly shelled walnuts
bunch white dandelion leaves
bunch rocket leaves
200g young gorgonzola
3 tablespoons see method for ingredients
1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil or curly parsley

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
100ml walnut oil
100ml olive oil

Method

  1. Pour the red wine into a small saucepan and add the bay leaves, thyme, juniper berries and sugar. Slowly bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut each quarter in half lengthways. Add to the pan and poach for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquid. Their flavour and beautiful ruby colour will intensify as the poaching liquid cools.
  2. In the meantime, shell the walnuts (I gently tap the outside until they crack with a rolling pin). Wash and pat dry the salad leaves. Slice the Gorgonzola into long, fine shards.
  3. For the dressing, put the mustard, wine vinegar and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk in the walnut oil, followed by the olive oil.
  4. To assemble, dress the salad leaves lightly with 1 tbsp or so of the dressing. Pile into the centre of each serving plate and arrange the cheese, pears and roasted red onions attractively around and on top of the leaves. Scatter over the walnuts, sprinkle with chervil and spoon a little more dressing on to each plate. Serve at once.
Tags:
seasonal
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