Recipe and photo courtesy of Liz Harris (Floating Kitchen)
Serves 4 (or 8 as a starter)
For the pears
- 2 firm pears, peeled, halved and cored (Bosc or similar)
- 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup (Grade B, if you can find it)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) brandy
- 1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
For the dressing and salad
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) reserved poaching liquid
- 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
- 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper
- 2 small heads frisee
- 1 cup (120 g) walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup (115 g) blue cheese, crumbled
For the pears
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 158F/70C.
- Put the pear halves and the cardamom pods into a large cooking pouch.
- In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, brandy, and vanilla bean seeds and pour this mixture over the pears in the cooking pouch.
- Vacuum seal the pouch on the Moist setting, if available, being very careful not to suck the liquid up into the vacuum sealer. Alternatively, you can use a large zip-closure cooking pouch and use the displacement method to remove as much air from the pouch as possible before sealing it closed.
- Submerge the cooking pouch in the water oven to cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cooking pouch; the pears should be soft, yet still retain a little bit of resistance. Remove them from the cooking pouch and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the pouch liquid.
- Make the dressing; in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, reserved poaching liquid, salt and pepper.
- Divide the frisee evenly among 4 bowls. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of dressing over the frisee. Top each portion with a quarter of the walnuts and the blue cheese crumbles, and top with a poached pear half.
- Serve immediately.
* If you plan to serve this as a starter for a large meal, go with a slightly smaller serving size. You can cut the pears into quarters, dividing the salad up into 8 plates.