Mâche and Asian Pear Salad with Hazelnuts

Mâche and Asian Pear Salad with Hazelnuts
Staff Writer
Mâche and Asian Pear Salad with Hazelnuts

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Mâche and Asian Pear Salad with Hazelnuts

Mâche is unforgettable. I call it the princess of all leafy greens.

The tiny lettuce, when picked young, looks like a rosette, no bigger than a small daisy. Also known as corn salad, field salad, or lamb's lettuce, mâche thrives in cool weather and, contrary to its delicate features, is a pretty hardy little plant. It's also packed with many nutrients.

But I will confess that’s not the reason I love mâche. What truly enchants me is its subtle and succulent flavor, which makes for the most elegant salads and garnishes.

In this recipe, I serve the mâche with super-thin slices of Asian pear, and toss the tender greens with a shallot and truffle vinaigrette. The sweetness of the petite lettuces harmonizes beautifully with the aromatic pears and the more pungent vinaigrette.

See all salad recipes.

Notes

*Note: Store any leftover nuts in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • 1  Tablespoon  minced shallots
  • 1  Tablespoon  white balsamic vinegar
  • 3  Tablespoons  white truffle oil
  • 1/8  Teaspoon  sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 1/4  Cup  hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2  Asian pears, halved crosswise, cored, and sliced thinly with a mandoline
  • 5  Ounces  baby mâche
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

For the vinaigrette

In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, oil, and salt. Season with pepper, to taste, and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

For the salad

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake until the skins are dark and split and the nuts are golden, for 25-30 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice during baking to ensure even roasting. (Do not brown the nuts or they will lose their flavor.) Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.*

Once cooled, rub the nuts between your fingers or with a lint-free, clean kitchen towel to remove the skin. Then, use a mortar and pestle to crush coarsely.

Place 5 pear slices in the center of each of 4 plates, overlapping them and arranging them in a long row. Place the greens in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with two-thirds of the vinaigrette and toss until all the leaves are well coated, being careful not to break them.

Arrange the greens on top of the pear slices. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with pepper, to taste, and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
20g
29%
Sugar
7g
8%
Saturated Fat
2g
8%
Carbohydrate, by difference
30g
23%
Protein
10g
22%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
10µg
11%
Calcium, Ca
51mg
5%
Choline, total
2mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
9g
36%
Folate, total
157µg
39%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
91mg
28%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
1mg
7%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
180mg
26%
Selenium, Se
3µg
5%
Sodium, Na
25mg
2%
Water
5g
0%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Mâche Shopping Tip

Buy green leafy vegetables like arugula, watercress, and collards – they are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like iron and calcium.

Mâche Cooking Tip

Brighten up sandwiches or salads with small, tender leaves like spinach and add larger, tougher leaves like kale to soups and stews.