A simple to make, elegant salad is just what your weeknight routine called for.
By Tami Ganeles Weiser
This salad is simple, elegant, and fast. What could be better?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ripe but very firm pears (D’anjou or any variety with a thin, easy-to-eat skin)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 cups (about 6 ounces) baby arugula leaves, room temperature
- ½ cup toasted, unsalted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (see Kitchen Tip)
- ½ pound Gruyere cheese, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons pear vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pear eau de vie, Poire William preferred
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnut oil
- ¼ cup good-quality olive oil
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Wipe with a paper towel soaked with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cut the pears lengthwise, in half, and cut out the center cores with a melon baller or a sharp knife. Cut in half again. Coat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and grill face down for about 1 minute, until the pears have dark grill marks and have softened but are not mushy.
- Place the arugula leaves in a large bowl and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.
- For the dressing, combine the Dijon mustard, salt, pear vinegar, and eau de vie in a small bowl and whisk together. While whisking, stream in the hazelnut oil and then ¼ cup olive oil slowly until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the arugula, and toss. Divide the arugula evenly between 8 plates, placing it to one side of the plate. Cut the pears into quarters and place 4 quarters on each plate. Scatter equal portions of nuts and cheese over each plate, and serve.