Crunchy, spicy-sweet pecans; crisp, cool pears; smooth, nutty Gruyere--are you drooling yet? This is a simple little salad (once you make the nuts, which are a snap), and it tastes and looks like something you would pay $10 for in a restaurant. Wonderful with a really good steak--enjoy!
Sliced Pear and Caramelized Pecan Salad
for the pecans:
.5 cup pecan pieces
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch ground cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
generous pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Mix everything but the pecans in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until combined and becoming liquidy. Add pecans, stir for 1-2 minutes until well coated. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (tossing once or twice), until golden. Let cool completely before using (that way they will have a crunchy coating).
for the salad:
one pear (nearly any variety, I used bosc)
one small head radicchio
one small head bibb lettuce
hunk of Gruyere
Wash and dry lettuces, tear into medium-sized pieces. Slice your pear into thin slivers, arrange with the lettuces. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with pecans, and top with a pretty shaving or two of Gruyere. Of course, if you prefer you can grate the Gruyere, but I'm a sucker for presentation and this just looks so lovely. Doesn't it?