Griddled pear, Castelfranco radicchio and burrata salad with yoghurt dressing and toasted buckwheat.
It feels like a lifetime ago since I wrote and photographed this recipe. Last February in fact. But, as we all know life has very much changed since then, and that has made it feel longer than we ever knew a year could.
I wrote this recipe for an in person cooking class, it was the starter in a seasonal feast, something to whet the appetite before the main course of celeriac puree with pan-fried fish and crispy parsnips, and a dessert of chocolate mousse with rhubarb and blood orange. By the time I went to write this recipe up to share, and to mention my next in person class, we were in in our first lockdown of 2020, and well, the moment had gone.
One ray of sunshine to come out of this last year is that I’ve been able to host more cooking classes than ever before, partly due of the ease of teaching online from my home kitchen and partly due to the all the free time I was given as a result of all my retreat chef work being cancelled for the foreseeable. The overheads for online teaching are far lower than in person, and I’ve been able to vastly reduce the ticket price from an in person event, which has enabled a real gang of regulars from all over the UK and beyond. I have loved connecting with you all!
I am going to be continuing to teach online way in 2021 and will continue to develop delicious new seasonal dishes covering a wide range of techniques to help advance your skills and repertoire whether you’re a fledgling or accomplished home cook. Classes are generally held on Wednesday evenings, and you can find out more on my cooking classes page, which is regularly updated with new material.
Almost a year later, now that pears and the beautiful winter salad leaf radicchio is now back in season, I thought I would take the time to share this recipe because it’s such a beautiful dish, and we all need beautiful things in our lives right now.
You will need to head to a specialist grocer to pick up the Castelfranco radicchio – isn’t she a beauty? If that isn’t a possibility at the moment (it’s not for me, I don’t have a good local one), you can replace with endive which is usually a bit easier to get hold of. One thing I have really missed this last year is my regular wanders around Borough Market seeking out unusual ingredients for inspiration, but as I live a short train ride away I have decided it doesn’t feel right to keep going.
Burrata can be bought in some supermarkets these days, I absolutely love it. However if you can’t find it don’t panic, a regular mozzarella will still do this salad justice.
Hope to see you online soon, and in the meantime enjoy this simple starter which, like my online classes aims to introduce you to new ingredients (the radicchio) and new techniques (toasting buckwheat).
Griddled pear, Castelfranco and burrata salad with yoghurt dressing and toasted buckwheat
- 1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 wedges
- 1 small or half a medium Castelfranco radicchio, torn into large pieces
- 1 tablespoon yoghurt dressing
- 150g ball Burrata (or mozzarella) cheese
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat, rinsed and dried
- olive oil
- 50g natural yoghurt
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
- Salt and pepper
- First make your dressing
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and season to taste, set aside.
- Next toast your buckwheat.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the buckwheat groats and keep stirring until the buckwheat becomes golden and toasted taking care not to burn, it will only take a couple of minutes. Turn our onto some kitchen towel to cool and drain.
- Next griddle your pear
- Prepare a cast iron griddle pan on a medium heat, drizzle with a little olive oil and then char the pear, cut side down for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove and allow to cool a little while you prepare the rest of your salad.
- Put your salad together & plate up
- Place 2 tablespoons of the dressing in the bottom of a medium sized bowl, then toss in your salad leaves and make sure all is well coated.
- Transfer to two separate serving plates, then add your griddled pear, torn pieces of Burrata and scatter over the buckwheat. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.