Eggplant, Pear and Pecorino Salad
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
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- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1 (1 1/4-pound) eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
- 1 clove (small) garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Thin shavings of Pecorino Toscano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toast the walnuts for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant over moderately high heat until lightly browned and tender, about 2 minutes per side.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the pear slices and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until just starting to soften, 3 minutes. Add the Cognac and toss the pears to coat thoroughly; remove from the heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of oil with the garlic, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and 1/2 tablespoon of the chives. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the eggplant slices on a platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Arrange the pear slices over the eggplant and drizzle with the honey. Scatter the walnuts, cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and 1/2 tablespoon of chives over the top. Serve.
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