So just to whet your appetite, I thought I would share with you a super easy recipe I’ve used countless times as an entrée. Works great for dinner parties or even as a main course if you upped the quantities. The warmth and richness of the stuffed pears add a comforting contrast to the fruity fresh tang of the salad.
Makes 4, entrée sized dishes.
2 Pears (I use Corella, but choose whatever is your favourite)
8 slices of Pancetta (You can also use Prosciutto if you prefer, or Speck for something a bit stronger. If you don’t mind the expense, or if you live in Spain, you would be crazy not to use Jamón Ibérico!)
150g Goat’s Cheese (Give or take depending how much of a fan you are)
2 Sprigs of Rosemary, chopped
1 tsp Honey
Bunch of Watercress
50g Saint Agur Blue Cheese
1 White Peach
1/2 Cup of Hazelnuts
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Good Quality Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C. (350°F) I prefer not to use fan forced, as my oven can be a bit of a pain with over crisping in certain areas. But you know your oven better than me. If you do prefer to use fan forced, bring the temperature down to 160°.
Mix the goat’s cheese with the rosemary and honey until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
Peel and halve your pears, removing the core and scooping out the seeds to leave a hollow dip about the size of a tablespoon. Fill the hollows with the goat’s cheese mixture, spreading it evenly between the four pear halves.
Peel your pancetta apart into long thin strips, wrapping them around the pears. If you’re finding it hard to make them stay wrapped, feel free to use a toothpick to hold your pancetta in place. Just don’t forget to remove it before serving!
Brush your pear halves with olive oil and place on a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until pancetta is crisp and your pears are soft (try sticking them with a skewer to check they’re soft all the way through).
Meanwhile, you can prepare your salad while the pears are cooking. Wash your watercress, and remove any particularly large stalks, breaking the leaves up into small manageable sizes. Wash and quarter your figs, leaving the skin on (it’s edible and delicious). Wash and slice your peach into thin wedges (about eight), removing the pip. Combine all in a bowl with your hazelnuts, and crumble your Saint Agur in too.
For the dressing, get a small jar or cup, and combine the lime juice, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey. Mix until consistent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to mix up the quantities if you prefer your dressing to be more tangy or sweet. If you’re really craving a sweet kick, add a teaspoon of brown sugar and mix until dissolved.
To serve, place even quantities of the salad on each plate. Place a pear half on top, and drizzle your dressing over all. Serve while the pears are still hot!