Pear, Chestnut and Vegan Blue Cheese Winter Salad
The warm flavors and colors of this salad make it a very appealing first course or main meal when accompanied with hearty bread. Many thanks to @nicolagraimes, editor of the Part-Vegetarian cook book.
2-3 slightly under ripe pears, quartered, and cored
1 ¼ cup of cooked, peeled and quartered chestnuts
2 large red leaf, Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, sliced
2 cooked beets (not in vinegar) drained and cubed
Vegetarian blue cheese, rind removed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 ½ Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. clear honey
Juice of ½ lemon
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside
Melt ¾ of butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cut each wedge of pear lengthwise into two or three slices, depending on their size and add to the pan. Cook the pears for 2-3 minutes on each side until starting to brown and soften.
Add the honey and carefully turn the pears in the glaze until glossy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the remaining butter. When melted add the chestnuts and cook for 2 minutes, spooning the butter mixture over the pears until they are warmed through and glossy.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Divide the salad leaves between four serving plates and top with pears, chestnuts, beets and Vegan blue cheese.
Spoon the dressing over the salad and serve.