Google+ Spices in the Cookie Jar: Poached Pear Salad


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Poached Pear Salad

This recipe was inspired from a visit to a restaurant (Money Order Office) in Melbourne CBD for one of our team lunches. I believe recreating a salad is a lot less trickier than other dishes as you can see almost all the elements that went into it can be seen on your plate. It's a very interesting dish with each ingredient imparting its own unique flavour - sweet poached pear, tangy lemon vinaigrette, salty cheese, peppery wild rocket and crunchy toasted almonds. The salad tasted amazing and it was a great start to a wonderful lunch....

For the salad:
  • Wild rocket leaves - 1 packet
  • Poached pear - 1/2 cup (add more if you like)
  • Slivered almonds - 1/4 cup
  • Blue cheese (Valdeon) - 50 g (cut into small cubes)
  • Lemon vinaigrette - as required
  • Salt as required
In a salad bowl mix all the ingredients except the blue cheese and lemon vinaigrette.
Add the cheese and dressing just before serving.

Lemon vinaigrette
  • Olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Lime juice - 1 tbsp
  • Dijon mustard - 1/4 tsp (optional)

  • Place all the above ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine. Taste and add more lime juice & salt if required, set aside.

Poached pear
  • Corella pears - 2 firm
  • lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Vanilla pod - 1 cut & scraped  
  • Honey - 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom - 2 crushed
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cinnamon - 1 stick
  • Rose water - 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger - 1" piece bruised

  • Peel and core the pears and cut them lengthwise. Sprinkle lemon juice over the cut pieces to avoid browning.
  • Heat water over medium heat in a saucepan with vanilla bean, honey, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, rose water, nutmeg and ginger. Bring to boil.
  • Add the pear, flat side down and continue to simmer on low heat.
  • Cover the pear with a round parchment paper, with a small hole in the center.
  • Using a paring knife or fork, poke the pears to check for doneness. If it slides through without resistance the pears are done.
  • Remove the pears using a slotted spoon and let it cool, cut into 1 cm cubes.
  • Strain the spices from the stock, reduce it by half over medium heat.
  • This sauce can be used in the salad as dressing instead of lemon vinaigrette.

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