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Arugula and pear salad with mascarpone and toasted walnuts

Serves 8

5 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 firm Bartlett pears
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound arugula, stemmed
1. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until fragrant. Toast the walnuts for 2 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, lift the nuts from the skillet and transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle them with a little of the salt.

2. Chop half the walnuts. In a bowl, stir the chopped nuts into the mascarpone with a little more salt and half the pepper.

3. Halve the pears lengthwise, core them, and brush with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick lengths, keeping the pears intact at one end. Arrange them on plates.

4. In a bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice with the remaining salt and pepper. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss the arugula in the dressing and arrange next to the pears on each plate.

5. Put a dollop of the mascarpone mixture onto each plate between the salad and the pear, then sprinkle with the remaining toasted nuts.

Adapted from Deborah Krasner

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