Pears with crisped kale & lardo

Pears with crisped kale & lardo

By
From
Gather
Serves
2
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

This interesting combination works well because everything is so perfectly different. Make sure the pears are at their most ripe, so that they are full to bursting. The kale should be as dry as bone, the definition of brittle; and the lardo, pure fat – both salty and sweet and unbelievably buttery – should be cold. Together, these ingredients make an extremely balanced and delicious salad. If you find lardo a little too extreme, try a lovely cured pancetta instead.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g curly kale, stripped of any thick stalk
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ripe pears
8-12 very thin slices lardo or cured well-marbled pancetta
2 teaspoons runny honey
3-4 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and lightly bruised
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 120°C.
  2. First, make the crisped kale. Wash the kale, then spin it in a salad spinner until it’s really dry. Tear the leaves into large pieces and place them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a good pinch of salt.
  3. Using your hands, mix the leaves well to coat in the oil. Line a baking tray with baking parchment, then arrange the kale in an even layer on the tray and place it in the oven. Bake for 25–30 minutes, turning the individual leaves once or twice during cooking, until they are nice and crisp. Remove the leaves from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Divide the cooled, crisped kale equally between two shallow bowls. Quarter and core the pears and tuck them in between the kale leaves, again dividing them equally between the two bowls.
  5. Drape 4–6 slices of lardo or pancetta over and around the kale and pears on each plate, then trickle over the honey, the remaining olive oil, some thyme leaves and a drizzle of lemon juice. Season lightly and take to the table immediately.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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