Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pear, Rocket and Spinach Salad with Maple Dressing

For a farewell dinner with the Shanas family last week, I made this salad as our contribution to a fabulous meal prepared by Jill. The standout dish of the night was her fabulous Pomegranate Chicken. It was absolutely delightful - succulent braised chicken that melted in the mouth, braised in a subtle sweet sauce.  The Pear, Rocket and Spinach salad was a well matched side dish with the chicken.  This salad would also be a great match with duck.  

I tripled the quantities for a group of 12, the quantity listed below will serve 4.

150g baby spinach leaves
50g wild rocket leaves
2 firm Corella pears
150g soft creamy blue cheese, crumbled

5 tblsp olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tblsp maple syrup
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place baby spinach and rocket in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Arrange on flat serving platter.  Halve pears lengthways and cut lengthways into thin slices.  Arrange pears over spinach and rocket, then crumble blue cheese over spinach and rocket.

Heat 1 tblsp oil in small non stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add walnuts and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes or until toasted.  Remove from heat and add remaining oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.  Drizzle warm dressing and walnuts over salad to serve.

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