This is the perfect salad for fall, the best season for buying pears. In France, there are lots of different varieties of pear, so there is a wide selection to choose from. I’m a fan of the Pascatan, but I guess it’s best to choose your own favorite. Using two colors of Belgian endive makes the salad particularly attractive, but you can just use yellow Belgian endive, if you’d rather or if that is all you can find. You can serve this salad as a meal on its own, or it goes very well with a charcuterie board, or even a chicken liver terrine.
– PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes, plus 2 hours marinating.
– COOKING TIME 10 minutes.
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.
– 2 large slightly underripe pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges.
– 1 tablespoon light soft brown sugar.
– 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar.
– 1 shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced.
– 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
– 5 tablespoons light olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the croutons.
– 2 slices stale sourdough bread, torn into bite-size pieces.
– 1 tablespoon olive oil.
– 12 small radishes, finely sliced.
– 2 large yellow Belgian endives, outer leaves discarded and leaves separated, cut into 3 diagonally.
– 2 large red Belgian endives, outer leaves discarded and leaves separated, quartered lengthwise.
– 4 scallions, green part only, roughly chopped.
– ½ cup walnuts, toasted and lightly crushed.
Step 2: Pour off the marinade from the pears and put 2 tablespoons in a small bowl, discarding the rest. Whisk the mustard into the marinade, then slowly add the light olive oil, whisking until it thickens and becomes glossy. Leave to one side.
Step 3: Heat the broiler to high. Scatter the bread in the broiler pan, then drizzle with the olive oil and mix until combined. Broil 2 to 3 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through, until they are golden and crisp. Tip the croutons and any crumbs into a bowl, carefully wipe the pan clean and put the pears in the pan. Broil them 1 to 2 minutes until just warmed through.
Step 4: Gently toss the pear wedges with the radishes, endives and scallions. Scatter the croutons and walnuts over the top, drizzle with the dressing and serve while the pears are still warm.