05/04/06

Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with Pistachios

Serves 4

1/2 cup raw unsalted pistachios, shelled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 comice or d’anjou pears, cut in quarters, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced in strips lengthwise
1/2 to 3/4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette, see recipe below
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small fry pan, combine pistachios, salt and pepper, and sugar. Sauté over medium-low heat, stirring and shaking frequently, until pistachios are toasted and the sugar caramelizes and coats the pistachios. Transfer pistachios to a non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine pears, endive, Cabrales, jalapeños, vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to four chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately.

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine vinegar and chipotle in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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