This salad is a stunner!
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
4 ripe but firm Bosc pears (about 2 ½ pounds), halved, cored
¼ cup honey
6 cups mixed spring greens, such as this week’s Wrinkled Crinkled Cress, Claytonia and salad mix
6 ounces blue cheese, sliced or coarsely crumbled
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup apple verjus
⅓ cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1. To prepare the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Scatter thyme sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the pear halves cut side down on a work surface. Starting ½ -inch from stem and leaving the pear half intact, cut each lengthwise into scant ⅓- to 1/2 -inch-wide slices. Press pear gently to fan slices; place atop thyme sprigs. Drizzle pears with honey; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until pears are tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand on a baking sheet at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
3. Combine the greens in a large bowl. Add a drizzle dressing and toss to coat, adding more to taste. Divide the salad among plates and place a pear half on top of the greens. Garnish salads with cheese; sprinkle with nuts.