Pear and Stilton Salad
Andaluca - Seattle
Johnson made this lovely, seasonal salad when he visited the Beard House. The salad dressing calls for an unusual ingredient, tomato granules. When we asked Johnson about them, he told us that this dried tomato powder, which is available from www.gilroyfoods.com, adds the taste of sun-dried tomatoes to the dressing.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon tomato granules
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 6 cups mesclun, washed and dried
- Salad dressing to taste (see above)
- 3 pears, cored and sliced
- 6 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1/2 cup crumbled Stilton
To make the salad dressing, in a small bowl stir together the balsamic vinegar, salt, and the tomato granules, until the salt and granules are dissolved. Continue whisking, while you pour in the olive oil in a slow stream until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Stir in the remaining ingredients and check the seasoning. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to one week.
For the salad, place the mesclun in a large bowl. Toss the greens with the dressing. Arrange pears over the top of the greens, then garnish with hazelnuts, chives, and Stilton.