Many cuisines have long traditions of combining fruit with cheese. This recipe stems from the Tuscan combination of juicy pears with salty ewe's milk called pecorino. With some of the cheese melted over the pears and the rest combined with cool grapes and salad leaves, this makes a stylish first course, or light main dish for two.
Good source of vitamin C. Useful source of calcium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B12.
Use diced kiwi fruit instead of grapes. * Parmesan cheese, another Italian firm cheese, is suitable for this recipe and it has less fat. * If you are in a hurry, just chop the pears and toss them in the salad with all the cheese. * Substitute baby spinach leaves for the rocket. * Grill the pear halves cut side up, then sprinkle a blue cheese, such as Shropshire blue, into the cavities and grill until it melts. * A creamy goat's cheese could be used in a fruit and cheese salad instead of high-fat pecorino. Goat's cheese has a natural affinity with fresh raspberries, so for a stylish first course, omit the pears and pecorino cheese from the recipe above and replace the balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette with raspberry vinegar. Toss 200 g (7 oz) raspberries with the salad. Toast 8 thin slices of baguette on one side under the grill, then turn over and top with slices of goat's cheese. Grill until the cheese is bubbling, then transfer 2 slices to each plate. Dress the salad and arrange next to the cheese-topped toasts.
This salad is a useful source of calcium, needed for healthy bones and teeth. The pecorino cheese, watercress and rocket all provide this vital mineral.