This dish marries a variety of flavours: sweet caramelised pear, salt-cured prosciutto, bitter witlof and nutty blue cheese, which together result in a delicious antipasto salad. It’s simple, but for best results use good quality ingredients.
2 Buerre Bosc pears, firm but ripe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 heads witlof
100 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
½ cup walnuts, roasted
100 grams Gorgonzola or other soft blue cheese
good balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper
Halve the pears, remove the cores and cut each piece into 3 wedges. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the pears over a high heat until golden on both sides.
Drain on kitchen towels and cool.
To serve: Arrange the witlof, pears and prosciutto on a platter. Scatter over the walnuts and Gorgonzola. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
Witlof, or Belgian endive: a small cigar-shaped head of tightly packed leaves, creamy yellow in colour. It is grown in the dark; the leaves become green and bitter when exposed to light. To store, wrap the heads in paper towel and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Use as soon after buying as possible. The small crisp leaves are perfect in salads and the whole heads can be braised or roasted.