Looking for something to do with all that leftover Christmas cheese? If it feels a little wrong to still be eating it with the crackers, make for a healthier feast with this delicious salad. Pears and blue cheese are a match made in heaven. Try the recipe for Walnut and Pear Salad with Roquefort sauce by MasterChef’s very own Monica Galetti here…
Monica Galetti’s Walnut and Pear Salad with Roquefort sauce
Serves two as a lunch or four as a starter
Ingredients for caramelised pears
3 firm, ripe Conference pears
1 tbsp granulated sugar
25g salted butter
100ml sherry vinegar, plus a little extra for the dressing if needed
For the salad
1 white chicory bulb, trimmed
1 red chicory bulb (Treviso), trimmed
1 Gem lettuce
30g rocket leaves
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tsp walnut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
100g walnut halves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml double cream
100g Roquefort, cut into pieces
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. For the sauce, put the cream and Roquefort in a saucepan and heat gently until the cheese has partially melted (there should still be some small chunks left so don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat and set aside.
Peel, halve and core the pears, then cut into thick wedges. Scatter the sugar in a non-stick oven proof pan and heat gently until melted, then cook to a light golden caramel. Add the pear wedges and toss to coat in the caramel. Add the butter and allow to melt, then stir the sherry vinegar into the buttery caramel. Spoon the caramel sauce over the pears until they are well coated and golden, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the pears are soft, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the salad, separate the chicory and lettuce into leaves and toss them with the rocket and chives in a large bowl. When the pears are ready, transfer them to a warm dish and set aside. Using a fork, whisk the walnut and olive oils into the caramel sauce, then taste and add a little more vinegar if you think it is needed. Use this dressing to dress the salad leaves and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the salad and caramelised pears in a large shallow serving dish or on individual plates and sprinkle with the walnuts.
Drizzle with the Roquefort sauce and serve at once.
Recipe taken from Monica’s Kitchen (Quadrille Publishing). Photography by Yuki Sugiura
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