Friday, July 23, 2010

Pear and Rocket Salad

What I really love about this salad is the explosion of flavours- the crunchiness that comes from the hazelnuts, the saltiness from the pancetta and goat's cheese, the fresh taste and sweetness of the pears, the bitterness of the rocket and the acidity from the dressing. This salad is a great accompaniment to any meat dish and just so simple to put together.

There are 2 ways I like to use the pear when making this salad. The first way is to caramelise the pears and the second way is to just thinly slice the pears lengthways using a mandolin and serving it fresh/uncooked. I tend to caramelise the pears in Winter since it's cold and I don't often feel like eating cold salad, but in Summer I tend to just slice the pears and have it fresh. Whichever way, both work with this salad.

Adapted from the recipe in Notebook magazine, March 2 2010, page 7

Serves 4


4 pancetta slices
2 Williams pears, peeled and cored
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 bunch baby rocket (approx. 65g), washed
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
50g goat's milk cheese

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, turning occasionally, for 2 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.  
  2. Combine the vinegar, oil, mustard and honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Arrange the rocket leaves onto a serving platter. Coarsely break up the pancetta and sprinkle over the rocket with the pears and hazelnuts. Crumble over the goat's cheese. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Notes & Tips

To make caramelised pears, heat 20g butter and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a small non stick frying pan over medium heat. Add pears (cored and cut into wedges) and sauté for 2-3 minutes until light golden.

To slice the pears thinly, use a mandolin.

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