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Poached Quince Salad

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Serves 4

  • by Juli Roberts from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

Salty ham, buttery cheese, and rich almonds play up the delicate sweetness of the honey-poached quinces in this sweet-savory salad. For the best results, use Marcona almonds, which are fried salted almonds imported from Spain.

For the poached quinces
  • 1 lb. quinces (about 2 medium)
  • 2 T bs. honey
  • 2 strips lemon zest (each 1/2 x 2 inches)
For the salad
  • 4 cups mâche or baby arugula
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced Serrano ham or prosciutto,cut into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted, salted almonds
  • 1 to 2 oz. firm, mild-flavored cheese,such as Manchego or Asiago, shaved into small pieces (using a vegetable peeler)
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar, preferably aged 12 to 25 years
Make the poached quinces

Peel, quarter, and core each quince. Put the quinces, honey, and lemon zest in a 3-quart saucepan. Add enough water to cover the quinces by 1 inch (about 1-1/2 quarts). Bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Put a plate or a lid that’s smaller than the saucepan on the quinces to submerge them. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the quinces are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Let them cool in the cooking liquid.

Assemble the salads

Toss the mâche or arugula, ham, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Slice the quinces and arrange on each plate. Sprinkle the almonds and cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with 1 tsp. of the balsamic vinegar.

Make Ahead Tips

The quinces can be poached up to 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate them in their liquid.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 850; Cholesterol (mg): 30; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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