Recipe: Caramelised Pear, Ricotta, Thyme and Honey Walnut Salad
Rachel Davies, British Cookery School Awards 2013 and 2012 Finalist: Best Young Rising Star and UK Cookery School of the Year Awards 2012 Runner Up: Best Cookery School Tutor shares a delicious recipe with us….
Image credit: Rachel Davies
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 Williams Pears
2 tablespoons light brown soft sugar
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 packet of watercress, thick stems removed
A few handfuls rocket leaves
¼ radicchio head, shredded
2 large handfuls of walnuts
1 tablespoon runny honey
A few sprigs of thyme leaves
1 quantity of homemade ricotta *click here for the recipe
Sea salt and black pepper
For the dressing
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
4 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt and black pepper
• Preheat the oven to 160C.
• Cut the pears in quarters and cut off the core. Slice lengthways so that each pear becomes 8 wedges.
• Heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium-‐high heat, and add the pears. Once they start to soften, add the brown sugar, and stir so that the sugar doesn’t burn.
• When the pears are almost soft, add a big splash of vinegar, stand back (!) and let it sizzle. Then stir, season with salt and pepper, and keep cooking and stirring occasionally until the pears are brown and soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning with the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.
• On a lined baking tray, mix the walnuts, honey, half the thyme leaves and a little salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 6-‐8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir with a spoon and allow to cool, then roughly chop.
• Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jam jar or small bowl.
• Combine the salad leaves and dressing, and gently toss to coat the leaves. Put the dressed leaves onto four plates. Add the pears, dollops of the ricotta, a sprinkle of nuts and finish with a little more thyme. Serve immediately.
With a degree in Theology and no culinary ability whatsoever, Rachel’s passion for cooking started while on VSO in Zambia. Having never cooked before, she was forced to learn fast whilst living in a village with no supermarket. So, she started baking her own bread, making granita using lemons from her garden, and searching for recipes wherever she could find them, and the rest, as they say, is history.
After graduating in Cuisine and Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, Rachel went on to work with some of London’s most inspiring chefs at Galvin Bistro de Luxe in Baker Street, Lanka Patisserie in Primrose Hill and at Divertimenti Cookery School. In 2010 Rachel started Rachel’s Kitchen as a way to share her passion for great food using quality ingredients.
She was voted runner up ‘Best Cookery School Tutor’ in the UK Cookery School of the Year Award 2012, and was a finalist ‘Best Young Rising Star in the Cookery School Awards 2013 and 2012. With her relaxed approach, fun teaching style and hearty flavours, Rachel’s Kitchen has become the cookery school of choice for both private and corporate clients, and for brushing up on your cooking skills whilst smiling at the same time.
Find out more: www.rachels-kitchen.com