Nut oils can make a world of difference in a salad. Fortunately just a few spoonfuls is all that’s needed to add a lot of flavor. I like hazelnut oil and buy it from a trusted source or brand.
Buy the smallest bottle you can since it doesn’t get better the longer it sits. Store nut oils in the refrigerator and try to use them within 6 to 8 months. If you don’t have nut oil, substitute the same amount of olive oil. Walnuts make a good substitute for the pecans.
1 cup (140g) pecans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
small dab of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil
2 ounces (55g) gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
6 cups (150g) torn or chopped leaves of winter greens; any mixture of escarole, radicchio, watercress, Belgian endive, and frisée
1 ripe pear
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
minced chives or parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC.)
2. Mix the pecans on a baking sheet with the teaspoon of olive oil, the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss the pecans so they’re well coated and toast the nuts in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring midway during baking, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and cool.
3. Make the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, salt, and mustard in a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil and nut oil. Taste, and add a bit more vinegar and salt, if desired. Crumble the gorgonzola into the dressing and stir a few times. Add the torn greens to the bowl.
4. Peel and core the pear. Cut into slices and add them to the salad bowl along with the pecans. Toss the ingredients together thoroughly, adding an additional sprinkle of flaky sea salt, then divide the salad onto two plates. Grind black pepper over the salads and sprinkle with minced chives or parsley.