Harvest Salad of Bitter Greens, Caramelized Pears, and Blue Cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large firm but ripe pears, such as Bosc, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head radicchio (4 to 5 ounces), cut into chiffonade
- 2 cups mesclun or other baby lettuces
- 2 cups watercress, tough stems removed
- 1 head endive, washed, patted dry, and separated into spears
- 3/4 cup crumbled Roquefort or other creamy blue cheese such as Gorgonzola (about 3 ounces)
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnut pieces, lightly toasted
- Thinly sliced, buttered and toasted French bread, as an accompaniment
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pears and sugar, reduce the heat slightly, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender and slightly caramelized but still retain their shape, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool on a plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegars, shallots, and honey. Add the oil in a steady stream and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the radicchio, mesclun, watercress, and endive. Add dressing to taste to the greens and toss to coat.
Divide the greens among 4 large salad plates. Arrange the pear slices over each salad and top with the cheese and nuts. Drizzle lightly with additional dressing and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish the plates with the French bread toasts and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2003