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Pear and Walnut Salad with Roquette and Parmesan and a Walnut Oil and Mustard Dressing

This recipe comes from Chef Jim Fisher who now runs cooking holidays in the Dordogne.

If you would like to know more about Jim and how he gained his love of cooking why not have a look at his biography page <click here>

To find out more about the cooking holidays in France at Jim's cooking school in the Dordogne you will need to visit his web site <click here>

Jim said about this recipe:

This is a contemporary salad which has actually been around for quite a while now. I think it has achieved classic status.

The only thing that needs any preparation to speak of is the dressing, but the pears do need to be ripe and juicy - comice are perfect for this - and the parmesan needs to be shaved from a fresh block (if you haven't got any to hand, a good strong cheese like stilton or feta will do very nicely indeed, but completely forget about using that dirty sock-flavoured sawdust sold in pots, laughingly labelled 'Freshly Grated Parmesan').

If you want to turn this from a starter into a main course just add some strips of dry-cured ham, smoked duck breast, or sautéed chicken livers.


2 ripe juicy comice pears
1 lemon
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp grain mustard
6 tblsp walnut oil
freshly ground black pepper
handful roquette
handful of fresh walnut halves, roughly crushed
small block of fresh parmesan


  • Peel and core the pears, then smear with a little lemon juice to prevent them turning brown.
  • Put the vinegar and a good pinch of salt in a screw-top jar and shake until the salt has desolved. Add the mustard and walnut oil, then shake again to emulsify - the emulsion will hold for ten minutes or so, but give it another jiggle just before you use it to dress the salad.
  • Assemble the salad: slice the pears lengthwise into thin segments and place them rustically on four serving plates along with the roquette, then scatter over the bruised walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.
  • Using a potato peeler, shave the parmesan over the salad, then 'dust' with a little ground black pepper.

Serves 4

Chef Jim Fisher