For the Salad:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups Spiced Poached Quince, cut into ½-inch slices (see recipe, below)
- 4 large handfuls of mixed greens (recommended: mesclun, arugula, butter lettuce, frisee), washed and dried
- 4-6 ounces cured ham, sliced thin
- ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup large caperberries, sliced in half
For the Walnut Vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup walnut oil
1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, melt, and swirl around to coat the bottom of the skillet. Lay the slices of poached quince in the pan and fry until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Make the Walnut Vinaigrette. Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients except the walnut oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Stream in the walnut oil a little at a time, whisking to create an emulsion. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the greens in a large bowl and add only enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Toss gently. Divide the dressed greens among four salad plates. Lay slices of cured meat and poached quince on top. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese and sliced caperberries. Serve immediately.
- Makes 4 servings
- 7 cups water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 2 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 6 large or 8 medium quinces
1. In a large pot, combine the water, sugar, honey, anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Squeeze the lemon into the liquid and throw the halves into the pot. Place on high heat. While the poaching liquid is heating, peel, core, and quarter the quinces. Add the quinces to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover with a lid. Simmer for at least an hour or until the quinces are cooked through.
2. When a knife easily pierces a quince, it’s done. Allow to cool. Poached quince can be prepared a week in advance and stored in its poaching liquid. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, December 2013/January 2014
Photo: Matthew Benson