Lightening Up with a Salad- Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

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Happy New Year! The festivities have come to an end and now we make way for a new year and a new decade. I wish that the coming year brings everyone real happiness and sets you off into this fresh decade on the right path.

For many of us, the delicious celebrations that we merrily welcome are also jubilantly welcomed by our waistlines. It’s no secret that many of us start the new year with mighty resolutions, swearing that we will finally put the gym memberships to use in an ever growing attempt to loose weight. I’ll be honest; I am totally and utterly incapable of following a diet. Can you imagine how much self control I would have to possess in my line of work? “No Beth, that foie gras does not taste good… foie gras is bad…foie gras is good. I mean bad. Dammmnit!”

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I learned early on that fad diets are a load of C.R.A.P… literally! And that fat free/light products should just be banned. They are useless and counterproductive. I prefer to have real cheese and in moderation rather than triple the servings of some light version and the craving still left insatiated. No, I’m not an expert on dieting and nor am I a size zero. I’m a person happy with an hourglass figure and for the most part feel good in my own skin. I eat whatever I want in moderation. But, when the holidays roll around and everything revolves around the dinner table, it’s only normal that I gain a few extra pounds. So, when I need to shed a couple of pounds, I continue to eat whatever I want for breakfast and lunch and then polish off my day with a substantive salad, soup or grilled fish with some vegetables. Obviously, engaging in some cardiovascular activity, whether it’s just brisk walks or a yoga class is indispensable, if only for your general well being.

So, the next couple of posts will bring you dishes, that I feel, you can truly enjoy in the evening as part of a re-balancing eating plan. They are wholesome and won’t torture your stomach or mind.

4236389877 d184839ba7 Lightening Up with a Salad  Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

The idea for this salad came a while back from my friend Bashar who is a visual artist and blogger. He sent me the ingredients list to a salad he had recently enjoyed telling me I must try it. So, with the ingredients list at hand, I hit the shops. I decided to caramelize the pears, walnuts and shallots as I wanted to create more depth of flavor and sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the prosciutto and stilton cheese. He was right, it’s absolutely delicious as I had imagined when he listed the ingredients. It’s perfect with a glass of red wine on a cold winter night. If you’re vegetarian you can omit the prosciutto.

[printpost]

Caramelized Pear & Walnut Salad
with Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

Serves 2

The Cast of Characters

  • Mixed greens- I like to use peppery rocket (E.U) or arugula (U.S)
  • 80g or 6 slices of prosciutto
  • 45g or about 1/2 cup of walnuts- halved
  • 40g or about 2oz Blue cheese like Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Stilton
  • 2 small shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 pears- cored and cut into wedges (peeling optional)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 23g of light brown sugar or 2 tablespoons
  • 30ml of balsamic vinegar or 3 tablespoons
  • 15ml olive oil or 1 tablespoon

The Nitty-Gritty

In a sauté pan on medium flame, melt the butter then add the sugar and shallots. Stir well and cook for about 1-2 minutes till the shallots are soft.

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Then add the pears and walnuts stir well and cook for a further 2-3 minutes till soft and caramelized.

4237165248 c503b73f61 Lightening Up with a Salad  Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

Remove the pears, walnuts and shallots and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and then deglaze with the balsamic vinegar, stirring well so all is mixed for about 1 minute. Remove and mix in with a little olive oil. On a plate add the greens, the caramelized pears, shallots and walnuts, slices of prosciutto and cheese. Drizzle with the warm dressing and enjoy!

4236389877 d184839ba7 Lightening Up with a Salad  Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese

Facebook Comments:

22 Responses to “Lightening Up with a Salad- Caramelised Pear & Walnut w/ Prosciutto & Stilton Cheese”
  1. Carmelita 2 January 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Nice idea, love the caramelised pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola, the warm balamic dressing, but I would leave out the Prosciutto. For me its flavours would be overtaken by those of the cheese.

  2. Chris Bourne 2 January 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Excellent idea for the first weeks of 2010. I hope this continues further into January so i can shed a few pounds.
    The future’s bright!

  3. Krista 2 January 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Oh, I love this so much. :-) My brother just made me a salad with pears (and caramelized walnuts!) and I loved it. :-) Will have to try this soon. :-)

  4. The Cooking Ninja 2 January 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Oh yes … all that feasting during Xmas and New Year will be showing around my waist and already big thundering thighs in a couple of days. Got myself a workout DVD and hope to put it to good use soon, once V is back to school. :)

    Love that salad of yours. Looks delicious.

  5. jO:C 2 January 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    yes yes yesssss !!! I can’t ever stick to a diet or accept drinking fat free, 1-2% milk etc ! ! ! Moderation and portion controll is a lot easier than a diet. Cheers to the new year, to DKS, and to this marveous post – u can be sure we will be feasting on this salad tonight!

  6. Sarah, Maison Cupcake 2 January 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    That’s definitely delicious and I have both blue cheese and proscuittio in my fridge so I could well make this for my husband. I’m concentrating on my beloved vegetable and pulse curries for a while to hopefully shed a few pounds whilst I join in with Recipe Girl’s Ten in Ten thing. Happy New Year and great to see you back!

  7. Su-yin 2 January 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    This looks lovely! I love proscuitto, and can imagine how it’s saltiness would complement the sweet pears. Definitely something I will make when it gets a bit warmer!

  8. Trissa 3 January 2010 at 7:08 am #

    We all need more salads like this one – it looks delicious and easy enough to put together!

  9. Malin 3 January 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    I’ve been dreaming of a stilton pear salad lately, and caramelized too? Bookmarked!
    I’ll definetely drop by to check out your next posts too!

  10. Eli 3 January 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Happy New Year and what a better way to start it off! lovin it :)

  11. Kitchen Butterfly 3 January 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Love, Love, Love the combo. And super important to keep sensible eating at the fore. I often swap pecans for the walnuts…..

  12. George@CulinaryTravels 4 January 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Happy New Year Beth!!!

    The salad looks fabulous, definitely one to make soon but I’ll swap the stilton for another cheese, maybe dolcelatte.

  13. deeba 4 January 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Oh welcome back Beth. Wonderful to see you back, ‘light & happy’. Love the salad, love the new theme of food you’ve adopted fro the new year…and love the caramelised bits in the salad! Happy New Year to Chris & you…have a wonderful 2010!!

  14. Bethany 4 January 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Thanks everyone! xx

  15. Sarka 4 January 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Happy New Year Beth! Lovely salad, love the combination of the caramelised pears and walnut.

  16. Kate/Kajal 5 January 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Wow now thats a great salad to start the year off with . Fancy and elegant, i bet it tastes out of the world.

    Have a fabulous 2010

  17. Jeanne @ Cooksister! 7 January 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Agree 100% – self-denial has never yielded any results :) This is my kind of salad though – light but packed with wonderful contrasting sweet and savoury flavours. Bravo!

  18. Global Patriot 7 January 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Pears, walnuts and blue cheese are such a classic combination, but caramelizing them and tossing in some Prosciutto is simply brilliant…must have some tonight!

  19. Patricia Scarpin 13 January 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Diets suck! I’m on one right now and can’t wait for it to be over. :)

    Your salad looks beautiful – perfect for the heat we’re having here now!

  20. @TheSexyHomeChef 20 May 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    This will make my day even without the prosciutto – http://t.co/nlMRqtS7Vz

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