The chef says “I must give credit for the inspiration behind this recipe to my days served as a chef at the legendary Blakes hotel in Chelsea. I love the balance this dish offers between a little rich indulgence of the filo-wrapped blue cheese and the light, fresh nature of the pears and salad leaf.”
There’s a great tip for using filo pastry – just cover the sheets with a damp tea towel until you’re ready to use. Filo is easy to use but if it dries out you cannot fold it, it will just break apart. If it does dry, painting with warm melted butter will sometimes soften it up again.
Cooking pears in wine is quite common but the addition of a cinnamon stick and star anise transforms the taste again.
Ingredients Warm Blue Cheese and Spiced Pear Salad:
- 2 sheets of filo pastry
- 60g butter, melted
- Oil for deep frying
- 125g Caster sugar
- 300ml water
- 100g blue cheese for crumbling
- 120g blue cheese (divided into 6 equal size balls)
- 1 pear
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 handful walnuts
- Salad dressing of choice
- Mixed leaf salad of spinach, rocket and watercress
Method for Warm Blue Cheese and Spiced Pear Salad
- Peel and quarter the pears, core them and poach in the red wine with a splash of water, cinnamon stick and star anise.
- Whilst the pears poach, lay out and butter two sheets of filo pastry. Cut into 6 equal pieces
- Take most of the cheese and form into balls. Place one on each sheet of pastry and then form into parcels as shown in the video.
- Deep fry the blue cheese parcels.
- Make up your salad dressing. Salad dressing will keep well in a sealed jar in the fridge.
- Make up your salad and dress. Place the salad on a serving dish.
- Add the blue cheese parcels and spiced pears onto the leaves.