My regular run routine is pretty straightforward- start slow, go uphill, sidestep parked cars, giant puddles, and hordes of people who idle stationary on the roads. I’ll slow down for a passing cartful of fresh okra, or quicken my pace to whiff the sweet smells of the guava seller, but I always keep an eye out for something I haven’t tried before.
A sharp turn towards Pali Village and a few long strides later, the sweet old lady from the corner shop hails me with an “Aao sir” and asks me why I haven’t bought any avocado from her in days. I smile, and quickly glance through her wares. I won’t be making Thai tonight, I definitely don’t want to bring home any Kale cause it will certainly go to waste, and so I talk myself out of these frivolous purchases. The one salad leaf that I don’t mind stocking up on though is arugula/rocket, and Krishna, my regular’s eyes gleam as I approach him. By now, he’s more or less aware of what gets my juices going, so out comes a packet of Trikaya Farms’ Wasabi Rocket.
I taste a single harmless looking leaf, and I’m sold instantly. Here was a variety of wild rocket that smacked my tastebuds with the same sharp mustard punch of wasabi. It’s a really fun leaf to bring to the table, and so I wanted to develop a recipe that wouldn’t interfere with the flavour of the leaf too much. I wanted a salad where the leaf was the hero, and everything else an understudy. Poached baby pears in white wine and spices, mustard microgreens, rocket, some bread and a dressing of the poaching liquid- you’re good to go. Give me a few good pieces of roast chicken, a bottle of Riesling and a pud for later- I’ll die a happy man.
Baby pears 4-5
White wine 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Sugar 1/3 cup
Cinnamon 1 small quill
Wasabi Arugula leaves 2 cups
Mustard microgreens 1/2 cup
Bread slices/Flatbread/French bread 2-3 slices
Salt and pepper to taste
Refresh the wasabi arugula leaves and the mustard micro greens by immersing them in cold water.
Peel the pears and place them in a small saucepan snugly together. Now mix together the wine, sugar, cloves and cinnamon, add it to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring the heat to a low sim once its boiling and let the pears soften. Keep these aside. Let the poaching liquid reduce on the side. You’ll be using this as a dressing later.
Toast some flatbread or french bread and break it into bits. Drain both the salad leaves and spin them. Arrange on a platter and top with the poached pears and sprinkle over the toasted bread. Pour over the reduced poaching liquid, season with some salt and pepper, toss once with wood salad tongs, and serve.