Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Barbecued Lobster with
New Potatoes, Watercress
and Chives
Blackberries with Sweet
Spiced Ricotta
Candied Seville Orange
Peel in Syrup
Celeriac Steaks with
Mushrooms, Parmesan and
Sizzled Sage
Celery and Barley Soup
with Seeds
Coconut Flour Pancakes
with Lime
Deep-Fried Egg
Easy Curry
Fennel, Orange, Olive
and Red Onion Salad
Globe Artichokes
Glorious Green Stir-Fry
Gooseberries with Orange
and Bay Syrup
Goose Egg Frittata with
Potato, Onions and
Piquillo Peppers
Greengage and
Cobnut Crumble
Guinea Fowl with Peppercorn
and Kaffir Lime Leaf Butter
Japonica Jelly
Korean Roasted Roots
Medlar and Ginger Creams
Medlar and Rosemary Jelly
Meringue Roulade with Strawberry, Cucumber
and Mint Filling
Mexican-Style Cabbage Soup with Pork and Beans
Moroccan Goat Tagine with
Apricots and Almonds
Oxtail, Celeriac and Carrots
Pan de Higo
(Spanish Fig Bread)
Pan-Fried Cauliflower with
Lovage Crumbs and Lemon
Parsnip and Ginger Cupcakes with Tangerine Drizzle
Pasta Con Le Sarde
Peach and Almond Ricotta
Peaches in Strawberry-Rose Syrup
Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup
Quince Compôte
Quince and Ginger Sorbet
Rabbit with Potatoes,
Peppers and Lemon
Roasted Parsnip and
Cumin Soup
Roasted Squash and
Chilli Soup
Roasted Swede, Ginger and
Spiced Black Bean Soup
Rosemary Sorbet
Rhubarb and Angelica Sorbet
Rhubarb Tart with Star Anise
and Orange
Salted Sevilles with Star Anise, Coriander and Chilli
Sea Bass Parcels
with Fennel and
Preserved Lemon
Sea Buckthorn, Apple
and Ginger Cake
Seville Orange Ice Cream
Sicilian Sesame Bread
Spiced Medlar Tart with
Walnut Pastry
Spiced Poached Pears,
Walnuts and Sheep’s Cheese
Spiced Roast Quince with
Honey and Clotted Cream
Spring Lamb and Barley Pie
with Lemon, Rosemary
and Mint
Strawberry and
Black Pepper Ice-Cream
Strawberry Compôte with
Tarragon and Orange Zest
Steak and Kidney Pie
Sweet Pepper Tarte Tatin
with Black Pepper Caramel
Turkey Egg Frittata with
Roasted Red Peppers
Two-Cherry Yogurt Ice
Venison Vindaloo
Warm Duck Breasts with Peppery Leaves, Radishes and Walnuts
Warm Salad of Partridge,
Pears and Walnuts
Watercress and
Mushroom Pâté
Pears salad Christine McFadden Recipe

Spiced Poached Pears, Walnuts and
Sheep’s Cheese

A stylish salad that makes the most of autumnal pears, and if you’re lucky,
the new season’s wet walnuts, preferably freshly shelled. Make sure the pears are firm-textured rather than grainy – Conference pears would be good rather than Williams. If you don’t have any star anise, it’s fine to use vanilla pods on their own.
Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a light meal

water 600ml
sugar 300g
vanilla pods 2, split
star anise 3
pears 6
lemon juice of 1
walnut pieces a small handful
sheep’s cheese such as Manchego, 75g crumbled
traditional balsamic vinegar

1) Put water and sugar in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the vanilla pods and star anise. Boil for about 15 mins until bubbles look large and syrupy.

2) While the syrup is bubbling away, peel the pears, slice in half lengthwise and remove the core neatly, using a melon baller if you have one, or a teaspoon. Put the pear halves in bowl with the lemon juice as you work.

3) Arrange pear halves, cut side up, in frying pan large enough to take them in a single layer. Pour in the hot syrup – there should be enough to almost cover them. Add the spices then simmer 10 minutes until pears are just tender. Using a perforated spoon, lift the pears from the syrup and arrange in a serving dish. Fish out the spices if you like, but it’s fine to add them to the pears.

4) Boil syrup until it thickens slightly. Pour into jug and leave to cool down.

5) Spoon a little of the syrup over the pears (keep the rest in a jar for
another use).

6) Strew with walnuts and the crumbled cheese. Finish with a dribble of best balsamic vinegar.

Recipe © Christine McFadden November 2020

    Photography: Christine McFadden    
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