Red Wine, Parsley Pears, Salted Candied Pecans and Crispy Shallot Salad

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This salad is inspired by the very much loved CHEESE COURSE…without the cheese! It contains the depth of red wine from a red wine vinaigrette and red wine soaked grapes,  the saltiness and nuttiness from the pecans and the an onion chutney flavour from the crispy onions….all balanced out with the freshness of parsley pears and peppery rocket leaves! Salads need no longer be boring! Try to pick a fruity red wine for this recipe.


Preparation time: 1 hour


Ingredients (Serves 12):

  • 6 Pears
  • 1 cup + 6tbsp Red Wine
  • 20 Red Grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecan Nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parsley
  • 6 Shallots
  • 140g Rocket Leaves
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 cup + 6tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard
  • Olive Oil for deep frying Onions

Method:

  1. Cut the grapes in halves and soak in 1 cup of red wine for 30 minutes
  2. Remove the skin and cores from the pears and slice each into 8 pieces
  3. Blend the parsley and 1 cup of the virgin olive oil to create a parsley oil
  4. Rub the pears in the parsley oil and leave to marinade for 30 minutes
  5. In a pan on medium heat, drop in your pecan nuts, sugar, salt, chilli powder, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp red wine and allow to caramelise until the sugar coats the pecan nuts but is still runny…do not let the caramel become stiff and solid
  6. Slice the shallots into 3mm thick rings and fry until just lightly golden and drain on tissue paper (it is important to remove them from the oil when they are only lightly golden because they will turn bitter if taken too far. They will become crispier as they cool)
  7. In a bowl mix 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil with the red wine vinegar and 3 tbsp of red wine and mustard to form a vinaigrette
  8. Dress the rocket leaves with the vinaigrette and place on the base of the serving dish
  9. Now place the pears (without excess parsley oil) over the leaves, followed by a sprinkling of the caramelised pecans and crispy shallots
  10. Drain the red wine soaked grapes and sprinkle these over the salad
  11. Ready to eat…enjoy my Little Peas!
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