Pekmez Roasted Pear, Feta, Watercress and Hazelnut Salad

11:30 am on 28 March 2011

Turkey: Recipes and tales from the road
Published by Murdoch Books

(Serves 6)


  • 6 corella pears
  • 1½ tablespoons pekmez (see note page 73)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 90 g (3 ¼ oz / 3 cups) watercress
  • 200 g (7 oz) feta cheese or goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 70 g (2 ½ oz / ½ cup) hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped


  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pekmez
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, dry-roasted and crushed
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F/Gas 4). Cut the unpeeled pears in half lengthways and remove the cores. Cut the halves into thirds lengthways, then place the pear wedges in a single layer in a small baking dish. Drizzle with the pekmez and olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, turning once, until the pears are very tender and deep golden all over and the cooking juices are reduced and sticky.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine the vinegar, garlic, pekmez and cumin in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spread the watercress over a serving platter then scatter over the pear, cheese and hazelnuts. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Hawkes Ridge 2008

Pinot Gris
Ti Point 2010

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