Pears Part II: A Salad with Cheese, Nuts and Winter Greens from Almond Restaurant

Here's a very pretty version of this pear salad with watercress. Photograph courtesy of Alaina Sullivan,

We have been thinking about pears lately. The East End season was a short one (boo hoo), but the fall fruit is still popping up at markets in the region. Last week, Chef Jason Weiner of Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton and Manhattan shared his pear-potato gratinee, and this week he’s sharing a recipe for his pear, endive, Roquefort and walnuts salad. The pear and blue cheese combination is a classic, of course. But the recipe is flexible enough, said Weiner ,that you could just as well substitute in other strong cheeses, or even replace the endive with some winter lettuce or other greens.

Salad of Bosc Pears, Endive, Roquefort Cheese & Candied Walnuts
Chef Jason Weiner, Almond Restaurants

Yield: 4 salads

4 Endive (sliced thin)
2 Raw Bosc pears (sliced thin)
1 cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)
1 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
1 bunch chives (chopped)
Walnut vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Black pepper and salt to taste

Candied Walnuts

1 cup walnut pieces
3 cups sugar

In a heavy bottom sauce pot, dissolve the sugar with half cup of warm water. Boil the sugar on medium heat until it turns a rich amber color. Carefully add the nuts and stir occasionally until the nuts take on the color of the sugar. About five minutes. Lay the nuts on to a sheet tray fitted with a cooling rack or silpat. Allow to cool for a half hour. Break apart and store in an airtight container.

Walnut Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Egg yolk
1 tablespoon Roquefort cheese
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil

Whisk together vinegar, pepper, mustard, pepper, sugar, yolk, and cheese in a bowl. Then Whisk in oils in a slow stream until emulsified.

Salad assembly

In a mixing bowl gently toss the endive, pears and chives with the vinaigrette. You may not need to use all the vinaigrette. Place on a chilled serving platter. Garnish with the nuts and cheese