Poached pears & hazelnuts combine to create the perfect side dish from Curtis Stone.


  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 brown pears, peeled, stems attached, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups Shiraz wine
  • 2 cups grape juice
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 130g baby rocket leaves
  • 70g Red Fancy lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmigiano or reggiano parmesan cheese shaved with a vegetable peeler (from the deli)


  1. To make the poached pears: Remove the core of each pear using a melon baller keeping the pear intact.
  2. Place the Shiraz and grape juice in a large saucepan.
  3. Add the pears, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 25-30 minutes or until tender rotating as needed, then remove pan from the heat and cool the pears for about 10 minutes in the liquid.
  4. Remove pears from poaching liquid, transfer to a plate and let cool. Discard liquid.
  5. While pears are poaching, make the roasted hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  6. Place nuts on an oven tray and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown, tossing occasionally.
  7. Remove tray from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool, then roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
  8. To make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl, combine the shallots and vinegar and begin to whisk.
  9. Slowly add oil while constantly whisking to blend.
  10. Whisk in the water and season the dressing with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  11. Using a large sharp knife, cut each of the poached pear halves into 4 wedges.
  12. To make the salad: Toss the rocket, red lettuce, parsley, pears and half of the nuts in a large mixing bowl with enough dressing to lightly coat.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper and gently mound the salad onto a serving platter. Garnish with the remaining nuts and parmesan cheese and serve.