The interesting thing about this salad is the bitterness of the vegetables in contrast with the sweetness of the pears and the candied walnuts. This is the kind of salad you can have fun with through different added ingredients and variations of the dressing. Make the candied walnuts first.
Pear & Gorgonzola Salad
1 egg white, whipped until thick
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup walnuts
Mix sugar and nuts into the whipped egg white. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, pour mixture into pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely before handling.
Next assemble the salad.
1 ripe pear, sliced
½ cup radicchio, chopped fine
½ cup Belgian endive, chopped fine
A handful of fresh mixed greens
A sprinkling of Gorgonzola cheese
A handful of candied walnuts
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
Place all ingredients in a salad bowl, then dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve with some extra Gorgonzola on top. Serves 4.
Adapted from a recipe by Cobblestone Restaurant in Geneva
Brussels Sprouts Confetti
For those of you who say “I don’t like brussels sprouts,” this concoction is for you. The sprouts are shredded thinly, much as cabbage is for cole slaw, and infused with simple but satisfying flavors.
2 tablespoons squash-seed or other oil
¼ cup shallots, sliced
1½ pound brussels sprouts, shredded by slicing thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the shallots. Once they are becoming translucent, add the shredded brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chicken stock and allow to cook until the brussels sprouts are bright green.
Remove from heat, add butter and toss until it is melted. If desired, add additional salt and freshly ground pepper.
Adapted from a recipe byNext Door Bar & Grill in Pittsford
excerpted from Finger Lakes Feast by Kate Harvey and Karl Zinsmeister, with photos by Noah Zinsmeister, published in 2012 by McBooks Press