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Spiced pear, goat’s cheese & pine nut salad

Serves: 2 as a starter This recipe is based on a salad in Tom Kime’s amazing book Exploring Taste & Flavour, which EVERYONE who loves food should buy. The book talks about balancing the groups of flavours, hot, salty, sweet and sour, to create any type of dish, not just those of an Asian origin. I’ve played around a little with the spices and the dressing, but essentially Tom should get the credit for this one.

Ingredients For the pears

  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into six lengthways

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice

  • A pinch of caster sugar

  • Salt & pepper

  • A splash of olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon of elderflower cordial

For the dressing

  • 1/2 tablespoon elderflower cordial

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

To complete the salad

  • 40g pine nuts, lightly toasted

  • 100g medium to strong goat’s cheese, crumbled

  • 30g parmesan shavings

  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

  • 50g of mixed baby leaves, mixing the colours is nice here

Method Preparing the salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C

  2. Toss the pear segments in the spices, sugar and olive oil then season with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat a griddle pan and when it’s good and hot place the pear segments on and leave until they pick up the char lines. Turn onto their other sides until all done, then transfer to a roasting tray.

  4. Toss them in the red wine vinegar and elderflower cordial and roast for approx 8 mins until cooked through but not soft. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

  5. Prepare the dressing and then assemble your other ingredients ready to build the salad.

  6. Dress the salad leaves and half the parsley leaves in a bowl and pile into the middle of your plates.

  7. Check the pears have the right blend of sweet and salty seasoning, then prop them across the salad leaves.

  8. Pile on your two cheeses and the pine nuts, the splash some poor dressing over the whole thing and top with the remaining parsley leaves.

  9. Serve with crusty bread and ENJOY!



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