Summer has passed us by and the wonderful colours of Autumn are upon us. The time of year that Keats called the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, autumn is a season famous for its harvest times, turning leaves, cooling temperatures and darkening nights. Crisp cold mornings and stunning sunsets are all part of the wonderful season of Autumn. People start to look towards warming comfort food, real fires and long woodland walks followed by steaming hot chocolate. However, there is still a place for salads. The colourful abundance of fresh produce can make for some exciting wonderful flavour combinations. Fruit combined with crisp salad leaves and nuts make a delicious nutritious meal. Full of vitamins and minerals these wonderful combinations can help to ward off seasonal colds and boost your immunity.
Why not try this amazing Pear Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing. Using delicious ripe pears, blue cheese, walnuts and crisp salad leaves.
2-3 ripe but firm pears
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 handfuls of Rocket or other Baby Salad Leaves
4 Tbsp walnuts
4-8 Tbsp crumbled Blue Cheese
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp walnuts
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt and black pepper to taste
To make the dressing put the mustard, walnuts, and vinegar in a small food processor. Process for about a minute, then, while the machine is running, drizzle in the oil (there should be a little hole in the top to allow the oil to drizzle slowly in.) When all the oil had been incorporated, scrape down the sides and process until everything is nice and creamy. The longer you process the smoother the consistency will be. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the pear into 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle the cut slices with the lemon juice to prevent browning, making sure all surfaces are covered.
Arrange Rocket or Baby Leaves on 4 salad plates and top each pear slices, stacked but fanned out slightly. Scatter the nuts and blue cheese over the plates. Drizzle with the dressing, and season with fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!