Recipe: Chef Darren MacLean’s Pear and Bacon Salad
Don’t let the pretty picture fool you, this recipe from downtownfood’s chef/owner Darren MacLean is quite simple to put together. If your knife skills aren’t quite up to the task of matchstick-ing and cubing as restaurant-style as above, feel free to cut the components to your liking and plate more casually.
This dish definitely makes a great start to a (romantic, perhaps?) summer dinner for two at home!
What you’ll need…
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 whole vanilla bean
1 Asian pear (cored and cubed)
1 cup cubed thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup candied walnuts
2 tablespoons tiger blue cheese (or other mild Canadian blue cheese)
1/4 cup arugula
1/4 cup of julienned granny smith apple
1 teaspoon good quality liquid honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Combine water, sugar and vanilla bean in a small pot and let boil until dissolves, about 2-3 minutes.
Add cubed Asian pear, cook for 1 minute and then remove from heat to let cool slightly in solution.
Cook bacon slowly on medium heat to gently caramelize, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to absorb any excess grease.
When ready to serve, place cubed pears and bacon in the centre of a plate and top with crumbled blue cheese and candied walnuts.
Top this with arugula, green apple and a drizzle with honey, lemon juice and cayenne and serve immediately.
Total cook time…15 minutes