We served this salad between the amuse bouche and main course as a light refresher, but you can also serve this before the dessert course. Irene chose Dalton Winery, Fume Blanc, 2008 to serve with the salad. This wine is aged in oak barrels and was a lovely crisp wine that I have also served with a fish course.
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil or avocado oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bag assorted baby lettuce
1 bunch of arugula (rocket), trimmed
1/2 cup whole walnuts
2 tablespoons date honey (silan)
1 medium Bartlett pear--halved, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Maytag or Danish blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Place the walnuts on a baking tray and drizzle the date honey over the nuts and mix until they are completely coated. Add more date honey, if necessary. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot. Whisk in the olive and walnut oils and season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce, arugula, walnuts and pear slices, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Crumble the blue cheese on top and serve.