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Pear Salad

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

I had this in a restaurant this year, made by a marvellous chef. Miguel did not share his recipe with me (too high end of a place, I didn't dare ask). This is my version, and apparently it works quite well.



Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 ripe pears (it doesn't matter which ones)

  • 1 or 2 glasses of Port

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 7 cloves whole

  • 7 cardamon pods whole

  • halved walnuts

  • honey

  • water

  • cherry tomatoes (washed and halved)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • rocket salad, washed and teared by hand

  • fresh spinach leaves, washed and teared by hand

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 30 gr shaved parmesan (omit if for vegan diners)

Method:

  • Peel the pears, quarter them, remove the seeds and halve the quarters (length wise)

  • Put them in a small pot, and add the Port - enough to cover them

  • Add the vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon, then bring it to the boil

  • Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer, for 10 mins

  • Remove from the heat and keep them aside, minimum for 2 hours, better if overnight, but not in the fridge

  • Remove the pears and slice them, leveraging their length

  • Dissolve the honey in boiling water

  • Add the halved walnuts and bring it to a simmer for 5 mins

  • Remove from the heat, strain the walnuts onto kitchen paper and let them reach room temperature


  • Place the halved tomatoes in a pan with the 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat for a few mins

  • As soon as they start to brown, turn them upside down and cook for a further 2 mins

  • Remove from the heat, strain the tomatoes onto kitchen paper and let them reach room temperature


  • Mix the olive oil with the vinegar and the salt if desired

  • Get your serving bowl, add the rocket and spinach, the drained tomatoes, then the pear slices, the walnuts and the vinaigrette, and mix well

  • Sprinkle with the shaved parmesan if using, and serve

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