Mache and Poached Pear Salad with Verjus Vinegarette
Pair with Blanc de Blancs
by Chef Mia Chambers, Draeger’s Cooking School
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons verjus*
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Honey Poached Pears (recipe follows)
1 small bunch frisee, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 cups mache or mixed baby lettuce
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed and chopped
*Verjus is the pressed juice of unripened grapes. It can be white or red and can usually be found in the oil and vinegar section of the grocery store.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and verjus with a pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil and continue whisking until all of the oil has been incorporated.
Place greens in a large bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season greens with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Mound greens in the center of each plate; arrange pears on top and garnish with hazelnuts.
Honey Poached Pears
1/2 cup wildflower honey
1-1/2 cups water or wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split
3 black peppercorns
2 firm ripe bosc pears, peeled, quartered and cored
Combine everything but the pears in a heavy–bottomed saucepan. Bring liquid to a simmer. Add the pears to the simmering liquid with a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pears, to prevent the pears from oxidizing. Poach pears until tender, approximately 20 – 30 minutes. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Continue to simmer poaching liquid until reduced to syrup, about 10 minutes.
Remove vanilla bean and peppercorns and store pears with syrup, refrigerated, until ready to use.