Servings: Serves 4
- 3 cups pear juice or unsweetened filtered apple cider or pear cider
- 2 tablespoons pear or cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 6 cups mixed bitter salad greens
- 1/4 cup dried currants or chopped raisins
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (such as Maytag)
- 1/2 ripe pear , preferably Asian, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
Bring pear juice to a simmer and skim thick foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, skimming occasionally, 30 to 45 minutes, or until juice reduces to consistency of maple syrup. Cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, combine pear syrup and vinegar. Whisk in oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. In a shallow bowl, stir tamari and molasses, a pinch of salt, and cayenne until blended. Add nuts; toss until coated. Transfer to a double layer of paper towels; drain briefly. Spread pecans on a baking sheet on a wire rack; roast 10 minutes or until fairly dry and toasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine greens, pecans, currants and cheese. Whisk vinaigrette again and drizzle it over salad. Toss gently and briefly; you don't want cheese to crumble any further or clump together. Divide among 4 plates and fan pear slices over each serving.
Recommended ingredient: Pear juice is available in natural food stores.
For more from Michel Nischan, visit his website: www.michelnischan.com