This elegant masterpiece of a first coursesalad was created by Chef David LeFevre.
Recipe: Wisconsin GorgonzolaSalad
Sauterne Reduction:1 bottle (750 ml) sauterne winePumpernickel Croutons:
For Sauterne Reduction: In heavy mediumsaucepan, reduce sauterne to about 1/2 cup or until consistencyof thick syrup as it cools. Cool and hold for plating.
For Pumpernickel Croutons: Heat oven to350°F (175°C). Cut bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Mix witholive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Spread in shallow bakingpan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until bread is dry and crunchy. Cool;seal in airtight container.
For Walnut Puree: Place toasted walnuts,ice and lemon zest into blender. Blend at high speed. With blenderrunning, slowly pour walnut oil into blender. Blend until thickand smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Cool and holdfor plating.
For Gorgonzola Mousse: Melt 1/4 cup Gorgonzolacheese in small bowl over pan of boiling water. Cool until justwarm. In mixing bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Slowlyfold melted cheese into whipped cream. Do not overwork mixture.Store refrigerated in airtight container until plating time.
For Red Wine Vinaigrette: Place vinegarand mustard in blender container; blend at high speed. With blenderrunning, slowly drizzle in salad oil. Blend until thick and smooth.Set aside for salad.
Final preparation of Salad: On one sideof each square plate, make three quenelles of the mousse in aline. Arrange 3 pear slices and 4 or 5 candied walnuts by thequenelles. On the other side of the plate, make a pool of thewalnut puree using about 2 tablespoons. In a large mixing bowl,mix the lettuces, dried pears, some of the croutons, remainingcandied walnuts, 1/4 pound crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and thewax beans. Toss with the vinaigrette. Season to taste. Placeon top of the walnut puree. In between the Gorgonzola quenellesand the pear slices, drizzle about 1 teaspoon of the sauternereduction.
1/2 loaf pumpernickel bread
2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup cracked ice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup walnut oil
White pepperGorgonzola Mousse:
1/4 cup Wisconsin Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy creamRed Wine Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup salad oilSalad:
2 ripe pears, cut in 12 1/2-inch slices
1/2 pound candied walnuts – divided use
2 heads butter lettuce, cut in 1/2-inch strips
1 head Belgian endive
1/2 pound (8 ounces) red oak lettuce
1/2 pound (8 ounces) dried pears, cut in 1/4-inch strips
1/4 pound (4 ounces) Wisconsin Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 ounces yellow wax beans, blanched and shocked
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe and photograph courtesy of WisconsinMilk Marketing Board, Inc.
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