Honey-roasted pear and walnut salad

Honey-roasted pear and walnut salad

William Meppem

Top this salad with slices of grilled haloumy to make a delicious starter. It is a lovely light accompaniment to all sorts of earthy vegetable dishes and risottos.


Quantity Ingredient
3 ripe pears
2 1/2 tablespoons mild-flavoured honey
3 cardamom pods, seeds only
1 tablespoon orange-blossom water
3 teaspoons sherry
25g butter
120ml extra-virgin olive oil
100g walnuts
2 packets cypriot haloumy cheese, sliced 3 mm thick
100g plain flour, for dusting
60ml olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 purple onion, finely sliced
1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
1 cup frisee lettuce
100g black olives
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper


  1. Peel the pears and cut them into halves (or quarters if they are quite thick), and cut out the core. In a small pot, warm the honey, cardamom seeds, orange-blossom water and sherry.
  2. In a heavy frying pan, melt together the butter and 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil until bubbling, then sear the pears for 1 minute on each side. Add honey mixture and sauté for a further 2 minutes until it is a warm caramel colour.
  3. To roast the walnuts, place them in a very hot oven for 5 minutes. Rub away some of the papery brown skin in a tea-towel and cut them into quarters.
  4. To grill the haloumy cheese, dust the slices in flour. Heat the 60 ml of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and cook the cheese slices until they are golden-brown. Turn them and colour the other side. Pour the lemon juice over the cheese and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.
  5. Slice the onion finely and rinse it under cold running water for 5 minutes to reduce its sharpness.
  6. In a large bowl gently mix together the pears and haloumy cheese with the watercress leaves, olives, onion and two-thirds of the walnuts. In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently combine.
  7. To serve, place a mound of salad on each place and sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the top.
Middle East
Middle Eastern
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