This salad is the perfect contrast of salty blue cheese, sweet pear, fresh mizuna and the crunchy texture and deep nutty flavour of the walnuts. Serve this as a side dish or a terrific first course.
Step 1. Crispy Walnuts
150 gm walnuts
Pour the oil into a small saucepan and heat to a medium temperature.
Add the walnuts and fry until they have a light golden brown colour. Stir often. Remove the walnuts from the oil before they reach your desired colour, as they will continue to cook slightly once removed. Place on a paper towel lined dish to cool. Store in airtight container until required.
Step 2. Pear and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (toasted and ground)
3 Tbs shallots (finely diced)
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp sugar
3 Tbs pear vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil (or other nut oil)
Fresh ground black pepper
Place the ground fennel seeds, diced shallots, mustard, sugar and vinegar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Bring ingredients together with a whisk. Drizzle in the walnut oil whisking continuously. Once combined, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate until required.
Step 3. Preparing and Serving
3 large packham pears (peeled, quartered, then cut into 4 slices)
1 bag Zoe's Garden Mizuna
1 bag Zoe's Garden Rocket
1 pot of watercress (leaves picked)
1 bag of Zoe's Garden Miner's Lettuce
Pear and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette
150 gm Whitestone Windsor Blue Cheese
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Heat a large non-stick pan to a high temperature. Cook the pears quickly on both sides until they obtain a caramel colour. Remove and cool. Repeat process until all the pears are cooked. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Take a large mixing bowl and combine the salad leaves, walnuts and pear. Coat with a generous quantity of vinaigrette and mix through gently.
Serve salad onto plates or bowls and finish with some freshly shaved windsor blue cheese and a crack of black pepper.