September 2, 2013
Grilled Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Truffled Honey Dressing
It's finally getting warm enough for salads again!
But a warm salad is still the best of both worlds until the Spring weather settles in for good, and with stone fruit still a while away yet Pears seemed the perfect choice. Deeper flavours match beautifully with pears, and as I was lucky enough to snatch up some glorious goat cheese at the markets I was good to go and ready to lighten up my lunch
Don't worry though, this salad isn't really as cheffy as it sounds and won't take long at all to throw together. Of course you can use any blue cheese you like, and the honey can be any one you have on hand- don't let any of the specialised sounding ingredients put you off this yummy salad, it will still taste pretty special indeed
For two serves:
Nice Firm Pear
about 50gm Blue Goat Cheese- I used Udder Delights
Handful of Walnuts
Big handful of mixed Salad Leaves
1 slice gluten free Bread
1 clove Garlic
Truffle Honey- or another strong flavoured honey will do
Grill or toast your slice of bread, then rub it lightly with the clove of garlic. This will give a gorgeous, gentle, garlicky touch to the salad without overpowering it
Tear it up into nice chunky croutons- I like the rough, rustic look
Cut the pear into fairly thin slices- this is just one pear here. Then quickly drizzle it with olive oil before it goes brown and oxidises
Grill the pear slices on either side until they are just softened and have lovely scorched stripes across them. Don't over cook them though, or they will just go mushy and disintegrate when you fiddle around with them later
Toast off your walnuts to intensify the flavours and make them nice and crunchy
Crumble up the cheese into nice big chunks. The easiest way to do this is to twist a knife in the cheese and it should just flake apart
Make a dressing with a ratio of about 3:1 oil to lemon juice, a vinegar base would be too strong on this salad as it's already so full of flavour. Add a good teaspoon or so to taste of the honey, a bit of salt if needed- but don't forget the cheese is quite salty- and mix well
Full of truffley yummies!
Pop all of the ingredients except the pear into a bowl
Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently until nicely coated
Place a nice big pile of the salad on your serving plate- mound it up nice and high
Drape artistically with pear slices and make it all look pretty
So yummy- SWEETness from the pears and honey, SOURness in the lemon dressing, a slight BITTERness from the greens and walnuts, SALT and UMAMI from the creamy blue cheese. CRUNCH from the nuts and croutons and CREAMiness from the cheese- this is one of those salads that has it all!
I guess if you really wanted to add something to make this more of a main course salad for someone like BigJ who needs meat at every meal, I would serve it with a few slices of rare roast beef draped through as well- but that's strictly for carnivores only
So Dear Readers, what do you like in a salad, and would you need meat in this one to make you happy?