three ingredients, one fabulous vegetarian starter perfect for a stylish dinner party
Pear Carpaccio with Gorgonzola & Walnuts
Dinner parties: we all love them. Especially when we are the guests and all we have to do is show up in a cheerful mood. Ever since I became a Private Chef, my dinner party experience has changed a lot. I have been invited to various dinner parties, although more often than not I also had to do the cooking (or at least part of it). And in all honesty, I liked it better that way. Now you see, I’m not exactly the most talkative person in the room. I’m rather shy and rarely get engaged in conversations. Except for when the conversation is about food. Or cooking. Or some new restaurants and travel destinations. Then I talk. Quite a lot. I could talk for hours about some cooking techniques or some new ingredients that I’ve discovered. And wine. Lately I love talking about wine. Especially red Italian wines – for which I have a rather soft spot.
One of many reasons for which I love being a private chef is that I can get really creative. Although I usually offer to my guests a set menu to start with, there are always some twists that have to be done according to their preferences, tastes and dietary requirements. For me, being creative means using the ingredients that my guests love and transforming them in exciting plates of food.
This Pear Carpaccio with Gorgonzola cheese and is one of my favourite vegetarian starters. It is a beautiful mix of fresh, sweet and savoury flavours and is perfect for the winter season. I have first prepared it for a private lunch service in Pillars Restaurant at the University of West London as part of my practice, and ever since I served it on many other events. As it is, it is great as an appetizer. But it could also be transformed into a cheese platter simply by taking out the green leaves and the dressing and adding two or more cheese varieties on the side.
- two pears peeled
- 30 g Gorgonzola cheese
- 30 g walnuts
- rocket and baby spinach leaves
- 1 spring onion finely chopped
- 2 tsp honey
- lemon juice 1/2 lemon
- 3 walnut kernels ground
- Maldon salt
- Ground black pepper
- Thinly slice each pear and place the slices on two round plates.
- Top with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, whole walnut kernels, baby spinach, then add the spring onion and rocket leaves.
- Make a dressing by mixing the honey with lemon juice and grounded walnuts. Add the dressing on top of the carpaccio.
- Season with Maldon salt and black pepper to taste.
For bookings, reviews or if you simply want to explore some of my menus, please visit my profile on La Belle Assiette website. Other sample menus can be found on the Private Events section of this website.