Passion for Pork

Recipe: Chef Darren MacLean’s Pear and Bacon Salad

Dan Clapson - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

pear and bacon salad recipe

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.

Serves 2

Total cook time…15 minutes