Red Pears & Blue Cheese with Watercress (Serves 4 to 6)
Few foods complement each other as well as pears and blue cheese. In this colourful salad, fresh watercress provides a pleasant peppery counterpoint to the sweet pears and pungent cheese. Bring cheese to room tempera-ture before using.
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp. (5 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut halves
2 bunches watercress, rinsed and dried thoroughly
2 'Red Bartlett' pears (unpeeled) cored, quartered and sliced
1/2 lb. (225 g) Gorgonzola cheese (or your favourite blue)
To make vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together oil and lemon juice. Whisk in mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Scatter walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet; toast for about 10 to 12 minutes-no more, or the walnuts will burn.
Meanwhile, pick through watercress, discarding any tough bits, then transfer to a wide mixing bowl.
Just before serving, toss watercress with vinaigrette and distribute dressed greens on individual plates. Crumble cheese over greens, then arrange pears, followed by walnuts. Serve immediately.