I made this dish for my friend as an appetizer for dinner one night. I wanted to present it beautifully so I took my time and paid a lot of attention to detail. When making this salad at home you don’t have to carefully cut and plate the way I did, just use the same ingredients and it will taste just as wonderful. Give it a try, it’s absolutely delicious!
1 large Anjou Pear
Roquefort, Diced into small cubes
2 Medjool Dates
8 whole walnut pieces
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
Extra Virgin olive oil
Preheat an oven to 400F. Wrap the shallots in tin foil and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about an hour. Remove from foil and let cool. Peel when cool. Slice each shallot into quarters.
In a small sauce pan add the balsamic vinegar and reduce until slightly syrupy. Note: there is a fine line between perfect and over reduced. If the balsamic starts creating big foamy bubbles and is very sticky it has over reduced. Wash immediately and start again.
Peel the pear. Use a melon ball scooper to scoop out as many balls out of the pear as you can get.
Remove the pit from the dates by making a slit length wise and pulling the date open. Slice the dates length wise into a julienne cut.
Cut the walnut pieces in half
Mix a small handful of arugula with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, just enough to lubricate it. Add a pinch of sea salt. Gently toss with fingers being careful not to bruise the arugula.
Plating the salad: Take a basting brush, similar to a paint brush, and dip the tip into the reduced balsamic. Paint a stripe on the plate starting from one side to the next. Neatly scatter the arugula along the balsamic. Randomly arrange the pear, shallot, walnut, roquefort, and date on top of the arugula. Enjoy.