While meeting local winemakers, chefs and food artisans, we were reminded that in a world of mass-production, the local artisanal goods take on extra value.
Here is the recipe of chef Lynn's
Salt-Baked Pear Salad with Aged Cheddar
10–12 cups (2.5–3 L) kosher salt
8 whole star anise
4 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, washed and dried
8–10 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 small Belgian endive, trimmed, cored and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
2 bunches red watercress, washed and dried, thick stems removed
¾ cup (175 mL) crumbled aged Canadian cheddar
½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
Brown Derby Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish
In a Dutch oven large enough to hold pears upright in a single layer and deep enough that they don’t sit above the pot’s rim, stand pears on blossom ends. Carefully spoon salt mixture over and around pears so they’re completely covered except for the stems, adding remainder of salt if necessary.
Bake, uncovered, until pears are tender when pierced with a wooden skewer, about 30 minutes.
Let pears cool completely in salt mixture, then carefully remove them from the pot, brushing off any salt that sticks to the skins. Discard salt mixture.
Just before serving, cut each pear lengthwise into 8 wedges, discarding cores and stems. In a large bowl, gently toss pear wedges, radishes, celery, endive, watercress, cheese and cranberries.
Add enough vinaigrette to coat ingredients and toss gently. Divide salad among 8 individual plates. Sprinkle with almonds.
2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp (1 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
1⅓ cups (325 mL) canola oil
If you are passionate about great wine, on your next trip to Toronto do not forget to include a visit to Wine Country Ontario or try some of the best wines at the LCBO.
For all the wine and buy-local lovers, "Taste Local, Love Local", the 2015 Ontario wine promotion is taking place at 655 LCBO stores across the provence until October 10. 150 restaurants also across Ontario are pairing wines by the glass with special local recipes. More information can be found on LCBO's website.