Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salad of Arugula, Pears Poached in Red Wine, Parmesan Crisps and Walnut Vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 Tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup or 55 grams shredded Parmesan cheese
14 oz arugula
7 ounces frisee lettuce
¼ bunch fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped (about ½ cup/ 15g)
4 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled with stems attached
750 mL/ 1 bottle Shiraz
375 mL / 13 ½ fluid oz Port
1 ½ cups / 150 g walnuts, toasted

To make poached pears:
• Remove the core from the base of each pear using a melon baller, keeping the pear intact.
• Place the Shiraz and Port in a large sauce pan
• Add the pears, bring to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes or until tender
• Remove the pears, reserving the liquid
• Place 250 mL / 9 fluid oz of the reserved liquid in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
• Reduce to a syrup.

To make roasted walnuts:
• Preheat the oven to 350° C
• Place nuts on oven tray and bake for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the nuts are golden brown.
• Remove tray from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool.

To make the parmesan wafers:
• Preheat the oven to 400° C
• Place a non-stick silicone mat on an oven tray
• Evenly sprinkle the shredded Parmesan cheese over the mat forming a thin 13x9 inch rectangle of cheese on the mat.
• Bake for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is lacy and golden.
• Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely
• Break the Parmesan wafer into large pieces.

To make the dressing:
• In a large bowl, combine the shallots and white wine vinegar and being to wisk.
• Slowly add both oils while constantly whisking to blend.
• Whisk in the water and season the vinaigrette with salt and freshly ground pepper.

To make the salad:
• Toss the leaves and pears in a bowl with just enough dressing to coat.
• Divide the salad between 4 serving plates.
• Place the Parmesan wafers over the salad and sprinkle with roasted walnuts.
• Drizzle a small amount of reduced red wine around each plate and serve.

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