Arugula Salad with Grilled Pears, Pistachios and Ricotta Salata
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 4 large pears, peeled, cored, and halved
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 (1/3-inch-thick) round slices ricotta salata, or Greek manouri cheese
- 8 cups trimmed, torn arugula leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh
- 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
DirectionsHeat the grill to medium.
Place the pistachios in a shallow, heavy pan and place on the grill rack.
Pull down the lid (make sure the ventilation holes are open), and smoke for about 3 minutes.
Open the lid once, shake the pan back and forth to keep the nuts from burning, and continue smoking another minute or two, until lightly browned.
Remove and set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the olive oil.
Place on the hottest part of the grill rack, turning until there are light grill marks on each of the pear wedges, about 3 minutes.
Place the cheese rounds on the grill rack over the medium-hot spot on the grill and cook just until the cheese is branded lightly with grill lines.
Flip carefully and repeat on the other side.
Divide the arugula evenly among four plates.
Cut each cheese round into quarters.
Top the arugula with alternating wedges of grilled ricotta salata and grilled pears.
Add the smoked pistachios.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth and pour in equal amounts over each salad.