I know fruit and cheese in a salad, in any number of variations, has been a popular item on restaurant menus in recent years. This is a simple light and tasty salad which is lovely when pears are in season. It is actually very simple, but looks and tastes a little bit fancy. Over the summer I made it four times in a week for different groups of people eating at our house.
I use grana padano cheese, but any similar hard, strong but creamy cheese would go well. You could sprinkle some nuts such as walnut pieces over the finished salad if you like.
The most difficult part is allowing the pears to ripen enough to use before they get eaten by people in my household. I have had to resort to a washi tape label on a number of occasions:
Pear and parmesan salad
– washed and dried salad greens, eg a mix of different lettuce leaves (including some bitter leaves to balance the sweetness of the pear)
– cucumber peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
– snow peas cut finely into thin strips (optional)
– half a pear, thinly sliced at serving time
– a handful of grana padano or similar cheese, cut into ribbons with the vegetable peeler
– ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
– 2 teaspoons light flavoured oil such as rice bran oil
– a touch of pepper
Place the greens, cucumber and snow peas (if using) into a salad bowl. Mix the red wine vinegar, oil and pepper in a cup or jar, and stir some through the bowl ingredients, just enough to lightly dress the salad.
Place the cheese on the salad. Just before serving, slice the pear (it will turn brown otherwise) and place the slices on the salad. Stir the ingredients together very gently. Enjoy!