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Mâche, Parmesan, Pear, and Walnut Salad

Mâche, Parmesan, Pear, and Walnut Salad

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  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups mâche (lamb's lettuce) or mixed baby greens (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh Parmesan shavings (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 large firm Bosc pear, peeled, halved, cored, cut crosswise into thin slices (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk mustard, Sherry, and red wine vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually add oil, whisking until well blended. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

  • Toss mâche, Parmesan, pear, walnuts, and shallot in large bowl to combine. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among plates and serve.

,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews Section

Mâche, Parmesan, Pear, and Walnut Salad - Recipes

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Go meatless with this fast and tasty meal. Toss four cups of mâche, baby greens, or spinach leaves with this homemade lemon-herb dressing, and add in a few colorful fruits and veggies to make your new favorite salad.

Add a little kick to your healthy dinner tonight with these jalapeño-infused honey and spicy radish greens that put a new twist on your typical roasted salmon.

Salade d’hiver aux poires et aux noix

The mint adds a lively touch to this salad, which takes about 5 minutes to prepare and may be served as a first course. Use a mixture of winter greens: lamb’s lettuce and arugula are great on their own, or you can add curly endive, Belgian endive, radicchio, red chard, baby spinach or whatever’s available in your region in the winter months.

And by the way, an everyday French chef thinks it’s fine to use the prewashed salads that are available in many supermarkets today — as long as they’re superfresh.

2 large handfuls of mixed salad greens
1 pear
1/2 cup (50 g.) walnut halves
8 fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash the salad greens, spin dry and place in a large bowl. Wash, quarter and core the pear. Slice the quarters crosswise and add them to the bowl. Scatter the walnut halves over the salad. Wash the mint leaves, dry thoroughly, cut crosswise into ribbons and add to the bowl. If not serving immediately, place in the fridge to cool.

When ready to serve, add the lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings. Toss well. Serves 2.

* Chosen by FrenchEntré to celebrate 100 issues of FrenchEntrée magazine

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Whipped Brie de Meaux en Feuilleté with Black Pepper and Baby Mâche

Posted on December 20, 2014 by picky diner in Cheese // 0 Comments

This Cheese course is incredibly simple among all the cheese recipes in the cookbook and it tastes truly amazing.

After signing up for a fun afternoon of mahjong with my mom and the Redman family, and I also offered to cook dinner for all of us. Another 6-person dinner gig – I would certainly pick a couple recipes from the French Laundry Cookbook. But since I would not get all afternoon to prepare, I decided to just do a first course and a dessert course from the book, and come up with something quick but fancy for the main.

The final dinner menu definitely seemed less elaborate than any of my previous French Laundry dinners. The shopping did not take too long, despite having to drive to the city for Whole Foods. But thank goodness, Save On Foods and BC Liquor Store were both merely a couple minutes of walk from Whole Foods.

Here are all the ingredients I bought for the whole dinner!

So let’s get back to our first star of the evening: Whipped Brie de Meaux en Feuilleté with Black Pepper and Baby Mâche.

I never realized the importance of cheese in the western culinary world until I moved to North America, considering back in China most of the dairy products were either milk or yogurt. And for a while, I thought most cheeses were orange like the kind they put in a cheese burger. One time I discovered cheese in white powder form during my my high school days in California, when I was home staying at an American family, where they fed me pasta with tomato sauce and Kraft Parmesan cheese from a huge shaker, which I found quite intriguing – the Parmesan shaker reminded me the little bottle of soy sauce on the side for a Chinese daily meal, a great flavour enhancer.

I have enjoyed different types of cheese over the years, but they have been mostly in their original form and consumed along with wine. The French Laundry Cookbook has a whole section on how to make eating cheese a lot more fun by transforming it rather than just cutting it and putting it on a cheese board with some grapes.

Whipped Brie de Meaux en Feuilleté with Black Pepper and Baby Mâche

I left the mahjong table at 6pm, and I quickly sliced the baguette, drizzled some olive oil, put in the oven. While the croutons were in making, I took out the brie that I put in the freezer 3 hours ago.

Okay did I mention this dish was easy to make? But still, I couldn’t have done it so quickly without a couple shortcuts. Big thanks to Robbi’s KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, which had made whipping the cheese so fun and made the final product so fluffy and beautiful. The Normandie Double Cream Brie I bought from Costco was a really good deal. For a recipe for 6, I only need to use 3/5 of the whole thing. Freezing the cheese definitely made the cutting off the rinds a lot easier. Oh the rinds made such yummy snacks and I kept eating them when I was cooking.

Normandie Double Cream Brie

The 2nd shortcut was the balsamic glaze that I made a week ago for the salad of black figs salad. It certainly always comes in handy when you have a squeeze bottle of balsamic glaze in the fridge, you can use it for salad, soup, or even main course as a flavour component, to enhance flavour or to add some artistry to your plating.

However I didn’t do a good job slicing the baguette. I had to admit my mind was elsewhere and the image of Carol’s dish completely replaced the original image from the book. Errrr…. Well the croutons turned out to be too thick, and visually I was so not satisfied. But it was not all that disappointing at the end – the portions of brie Quenelle was pretty big, so the giant croutons did help a little bit or the whole cheesy bite would be too rich.

There were a couple ingredients I had to get it at Whole Foods: Fleur de Sel and Baby Mâche. Thank god there was enough Baby Mâche in one box of Organic Baby Mâche Sweet Mix for 6 portions because I really didn’t want to spend $12 for a little bunch of greens on each plate. Fleur de Sel did taste a bit sweet and more subtle compared to regular salt, definitely the fanciest salt that I had every used. What I couldn’t get was Tellicherry pepper, which was supposed to be a type of black pepper corns that had a more intense flavour. People at Whole Foods said they never heard of it, so I assume I wouldn’t be able to find it anywhere else in the city.

Frisee and baby heirloom tomatoes were my personal touches to the dish.

So the first course for the evening got some raving reviews. The Redman family and my Mom really loved it. They did not seem to bothered by the giant croutons. Or maybe they were just too polite.

We were off to a good start. And the main course dishes were put together pretty quickly. Veal jus had been made from reducing veal stock along with a bit red wine, shallot, and garlic even before I started mahjong, and fennel oil was already made and ready in a squeeze bottle a couple weeks ago. I quickly seared the steaks in a large pan, and tossed them in the oven to finish. And I did a quick pickle on the sliced radishes with a mixture of some of the poaching liquid I made for the poached pear for the dessert, and some white wine vinegar. So it took me less than 30 minutes to get the main ready.

New York Strip, Sauteed Chanterelle and Pearl Onions, Pickled Radish, Veal Jus & Fennel Oil

Finally, the dessert! And I will leave it for the next post!

Go meatless with this fast and tasty meal. Toss four cups of mâche, baby greens, or spinach leaves with this homemade lemon-herb dressing, and add in a few colorful fruits and veggies to make your new favorite salad.

Add a little kick to your healthy dinner tonight with these jalapeño-infused honey and spicy radish greens that put a new twist on your typical roasted salmon.

Go meatless with this fast and tasty meal. Toss four cups of mâche, baby greens, or spinach leaves with this homemade lemon-herb dressing, and add in a few colorful fruits and veggies to make your new favorite salad.

Add a little kick to your healthy dinner tonight with these jalapeño-infused honey and spicy radish greens that put a new twist on your typical roasted salmon.

This gluten-free dish is full of tasty and good-for-you ingredients, like green beans and artichoke hearts roasted with Parmesan and thyme.

Go meatless with this fast and tasty meal. Toss four cups of mâche, baby greens, or spinach leaves with this homemade lemon-herb dressing, and add in a few colorful fruits and veggies to make your new favorite salad.

How to Cook and Serve Asparagus with No Recipe

Cooked asparagus has a subtle sweet grassy flavor. It is a perfect match to salty dairy ingredients such as butter, Parmesan cheese, and hollandaise sauce. Asparagus also is well matched to slightly sulfurous-tasting foods: eggs, shellfish, and garlic.

There are three types of asparagus: green asparagus which can be both sweet and slightly tart flavored, purple asparagus which is sweeter than green asparagus, and white asparagus which is mild flavored.

The tastiest asparagus is harvested young and tender. The stalks should be straight and firm and the tips should be firm and tightly closed.

Asparagus can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, grilled, roasted, and baked.

Key cooking tip: The key to cooking asparagus right is to simply remember that size determines the cooking time no matter what the cooking method. For best flavor and texture, always cook asparagus until it is crisp-tender, poke the thickest part of the stalk with a knife and you should feel just a bit of resistance.

Asparagus cooked to perfection will not be so crisp that it crunches nor so tender that it is mushy or soggy. Green and purple asparagus will be bright green when cooked right.

Ratio: A half pound of asparagus will serve one person modestly. There are 15 to 20 medium-size asparagus stalks in a pound. You will need 6 to 10 medium-size stalks to serve one person, 4 to 6 large stalks to serve one person.

One pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch lengths will measure about 3 cups.

Size makes little difference in the flavor of asparagus, but thinner spears are likely to be most tender. Green and white asparagus is commonly harvested when spears are 6 to 8 inches long purple asparagus is harvested when just 3 to 4 inches long.

Preparing asparagus for cooking:

To assure uniform cooking, choose stalks about the same thickness and length.

Soak asparagus stalks in cold water to loosen any soil or sand. Snap off the woody end of each stalk by gently bending the stalk until it breaks or use a sharp knife to trim ½ inch off tough ends. Pencil thin stalks do not need to be peeled before cooking but thicker stalks will cook more evenly when peeled. Peel spears with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler from butt end to just below the flower tip. The peel should be paper thin. If you are pressed for time, peel just two strips from the opposite side of each spear to ensure spears cook evenly.

Ways to Cook Asparagus:

Steaming asparagus: Steaming is perhaps the easiest and most basic method for cooking asparagus. Bundle stalks of equal size together and tie them with a kitchen string. Stand the bundle in a steamer or a tall nonaluminum pot over or in an inch or two of salted water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, and cook until the spears are just tender the thickest part of the stalk can be pierced with a knife with just a bit of resistance, cooking about 3 to 8 minutes depending on the length and thickness of the stalks. The delicate flower tips high above the water will be steamed the same as the more fibrous stalks below. If you don’t have a steamer or tall saucepan you can invert a second saucepan of the same diameter over the first.

When the stalks are just tender, drain the saucepan and plunge the stalks into cold water for a moment–just a moment– to stop the cooking process and set then lay them to dry on a kitchen towel. Do not let the stalks soak in cold water or they will lose flavor. Serve hot or at room temperature after cooling on the towel.

Simmering or boiling asparagus: Add an inch of salted water to a shallow, wide pot. Lay asparagus lengthwise so that all the spears face the same direction do not stack the spears more than three deep. Place the pan so that the stem ends are directly over the heat and the tips are off the burner. Bring the water to a simmer or gentle boil and cook uncovered until just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes for tiny spears, 3 to 5 minutes for small spears, 5 to 8 minutes for medium spears, and 10 to 12 minutes for large spears. Drain the water and quickly rinse the spears under gently running cold water for just a few moments to stop the cooking. Place the spears on a kitchen towel to dry.

Use this method to blanch or parboil asparagus for a vegetable platter. Let the spears sit in boiling water for only 15 to 30 seconds—transfer to paper towel, pat dry, and let cool.

Sautéing asparagus : Add just enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a sauté pan and turn to medium heat. Add asparagus to the pan, laying the thick part of the stems over the heat and the tips off the heat. Add just a bit of minced garlic if you like. Cook until the asparagus is slightly wilted but still crisp. Stir in salt and pepper and transfer to serving dish if you like, sprinkle shredded basil or another fresh herb over top and serve.

Stir-frying asparagus: Slice spears diagonally to uniform length—1 or 2 inches long—and thickness, or cook whole. Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, peanut oil, or cooking oil in a wok or wide pan and heat until fragrant. Add a slice or two of garlic or fresh gingerroot before adding asparagus. Add asparagus and lightly stir for a minute or so. Add a dash of soy sauce or vegetable or chicken stock, lower the heat, cover, and cook until the asparagus is just tender, just 3 or 4 minutes. Add shitake mushrooms in the final 2 minutes, if you like, and garnish with bread crumbs before serving.

Baking asparagus: Steam the spears for 3 to 5 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Smear a baking pan or sheet lightly with olive oil. Lay the spears evenly in the pan. Roll the spears to coat them with oil then salt. Bake the spears about 3 to 5 minutes then turn and dot the spears with butter, margarine, freshly grated cheese, or cheese sauce and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife or taste for doneness.

Roasting asparagus: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place uncooked spears in a baking pan or on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roll the spears back and forth to coat lightly with oil and salt. Roast until just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the spears. (Small spears are not good candidates for roasting they will shrivel and dry quickly.) Turn the spears while they are cooking so that they are slightly browned or taste for doneness.

Grilling asparagus: Preheat the oven broiler or gas grill to 450°F or grill over medium-hot coals on a charcoal or wood fired grill. Place the spears in a roasting pan and brush or toss them lightly in olive oil then sprinkle with salt. Place the spears perpendicular to the grate so that they don’t fall through. Grill until they are warmed through and just browned by the grill, about 20 to 40 seconds or slightly longer. Transfer the spears to plate and allow them to finish cooking on their own, about 20 seconds more. They will turn bright green.

Seasoning asparagus:

Season asparagus with salt, pepper, onion, garlic, dill, basil, chervil, lemon balm, paprika, marjoram, nutmeg, allspice, mace, sesame seed, tarragon, mustard, coriander, savory, sage, mint, parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme. Fresh herbs can be chopped or minced or use dried herbs.

Serving asparagus:

Serve asparagus hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Serve asparagus topped with melted butter, hollandaise sauce, lemon butter, freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, balsamic or sherry vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, vinaigrette, plain or flavored mayonnaise, white sauce, cheese sauce, or grated or melted cheese—Parmesan or Jack.

Garnish asparagus with slice or crumbled boiled egg, sautéed morel mushrooms, toasted bread crumbs, minced roasted red bell pepper, or thinly slice prosciutto or other good ham, and lobster, shrimp, or crab meat. Serve fresh bread alongside asparagus and its topping use the bread to soak up the juice.

Key serving tip: Be careful not to smother the flavor of asparagus with the dressing, topping, or garnish.

Quick serving ideas for asparagus:

  • Serve hot topped with melted butter or hollandaise sauce.
  • Serve with a drizzle of lemon or lime or orange juice and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Dip in a sauce made from a hard-boiled egg crushed with a fork and mixed with mustard and olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Top with steamed spinach and hollandaise sauce.
  • Top with a thin cut slice of sautéed or broiled ham cut dressed with grated cheese or melted butter.
  • Atop a thin slice of hot or cold thinly sliced beef topped with vinaigrette sauce.
  • Wrapped in bacon, topped with cheese and baked.
  • Serve with risotto and shards of Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with baked salmon and steamed new potatoes.
  • Serve with smoked salmon and pasta.

Vinaigrette for asparagus:

Basic vinaigrette: vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar seasoned with herbs, spices, salt and pepper. For example, to 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or lemon juice can replace red wine vinegar), add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to dissolve, taste for balance. Whisk in a little at a time 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (you can olive oil with walnut or hazelnut oil). Slowly whisk until the dressing becomes thick and emulsified. A quarter of a cup of vinaigrette is enough for four servings.

Herb flavored vinaigrette: to the above vinaigrette mix add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herb or 1 teaspoon dried crushed herb just before you whisk in the oil.

Mustard vinaigrette: to the above vinaigrette mix add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard just before whisk in the oil.

Go meatless with this fast and tasty meal. Toss four cups of mâche, baby greens, or spinach leaves with this homemade lemon-herb dressing, and add in a few colorful fruits and veggies to make your new favorite salad.

Add a little kick to your healthy dinner tonight with these jalapeño-infused honey and spicy radish greens that put a new twist on your typical roasted salmon.


  1. Sarn

    Great, this is valuable information.

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