My sister Carrie turned me onto the wonders of hazelnut oil and arugula. Seriously, all you have to do is mix the two together for something fun to top a sandwich or use as a side dish.
Did you know that in other countries arugula is also called rocket? Though naming a salad rocket could be dangerous to your digestive system.
Hazelnuts are also called filbert nuts. For years I always had to roast them, but now you can find them roasted and in the bulk nut section at most stores.
About this salad: if you are a novice cook … can you use a peeler and peel a potato? Okay first step done. Can you slice the fruit in half lengthwise? Second step done. Wow! Cooking is fun! Now you are looking at the stem in the fruit and the core/seeds in the middle. Get yourself a knife and cut out the stem below and above the core; to get the core out use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop it out. Whoa. That easy. Don’t worry about it being pretty the first time … every time you make this recipe you can improve on your cutting and scooping skills!
The reason why we poach the pears is that way when you cut into them they don’t shoot across the table and hit one of your friends. Poaching pears isn’t scary, it’s pretty simple and basic. Many folks use red wine and dyes, but the natural color of a pear against greens, cheese, and roasted nuts are a great compliment.
I usually pair this salad with the last recipe in this blog http://auntmomos.com/crab-stuffed-porties/ Since the crab is so rich the peppery flavors of the arugula cut the creaminess of the crab cakes.
Poached-pear arugula salad with hazelnuts
- 2 pears – peeled, halved, stemmed and cored
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 25 roasted hazelnuts – chopped coarsely
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Step 1 In a medium sauce pot, bring to a simmer the wine, water, and lemon juice.
- Step 2 When simmering put the pears in … the riper the pears the faster they poach.
- Step 3 Remove pears when paring knife can easily pierce top of flesh.
- Step 4 Remove from juice and let cool. When cool slice lengthwise.
- Step 5 Mix arugula with oil and salt until they coat the greens evenly.
- Step 6 Chop the nuts coarsely and toss with greens.
- Step 7 Toss cheese with greens.
- Step 8 Take greens and separate in four dishes.
- Step 9 Fan each half of pear on top of greens.