1 bunch black Lacinato kale
, cavolo nero or other tender winter green
2 large pears (Korean Pears
), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Candied Spiced Walnuts (see recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Candied Spiced Walnuts
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 egg white from a large egg
1/4 c. granulated sugar
5 ounces (approximately 1-1/2 cups) walnut halves
For the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vinaigrette
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Remove the ribs from the kale leaves and discard.
Blanch the leaves in boiling water just until tender.
Drain and plunge the leaves into a bowl filled with ice water, which will set the color.
Drain and dry.
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the pear into thin rounds, drawing the pear across the blade which is set to a thickness of less than 1/8 inch.
Cut the rounds into quarters and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
For the Candied
In a medium sized bowl, mix the spices, sugar and egg white.
Add the walnuts and toss to coat, allowing them to drain.
Then place the walnuts on a silicone mat set onto a sheet pan.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Allow to cool and then remove from the mat.
Store in an airtight container for up to one day before using.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice together until the mixture is creamy and emulsified.
Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Assembling the salad
Place a few leaves of the kale in the center of a plate.
Place a cylindrical mold (open at both ends) on top of the kale and carefully layer the pear slices into it, pressing to compact them.
Once the mold has been filled, carefully lift it up and away from the pears.
Top with blue cheese and walnuts.
Repeat the process to assemble the remaining servings.
Then drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve immediately.