Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients 3 cups pear juice or unsweetened filtered apple cider or pear cider2 tablespoons pear or cider vinegar1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oilSalt and freshly ground pepper1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce2 teaspoons molassesPinch cayenne pepper1/2 cup pecan halves6 cups mixed bitter salad greens1/4 cup dried currants or chopped raisins1/4 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