Warm Salad with Pears and Balsamic dressing

A very simple dish which is both comforting and delicious, this salad is a creation by Lorraine Pascale, a chef I started to follow recently. Make it when you want a quick salad and still don’t want to give up the idea of having something warm to eat.

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 bags of rocket salad/pea shoots/watercress, approximately 200g
  • 16 slices of pancetta
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 pears, cored, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 30g toasted pine nuts
  • 200g Gorgonzola/Dolcelatte, crumbled
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

  1. Distribute the salad on a big serving plate.
  2. Put the pancetta into a medium frying pan over medium-high heat and cook until really crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Put 30g butter and the oil into the pan and reduce the heat to low. When the butter has melted, place the pears in the pan and season with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons honey. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the pears are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and cook for another minute. Remove the pears from the pan, reserving any juices that may be left.
  4. Arrange the pears and pancetta on top of the salad.
  5. Put the pan back on medium heat and add the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons vinegar, mustard, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook briefly until the dressing is heated through. Pour the dressing over the salads, then scatter over the Gorgonzola crumbles. Serve immediately.

Tips

  • If you can’t get hold of Gorgonzola, try Stilton, but use less as it is very strong.
  • If you don’t like pears, you can try ditching them with their sauce and pan fry some peaches instead.
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