2 cups water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shelled walnuts, halved
Oil for deep frying
1/8 teaspoon each: coarse salt, cayenne pepper
1/4 cup each: maraschino cherry juice, dried cherries
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 cup each: red-wine vinegar, orange juice
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
1 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Mixed green salad:
4 cups mixed baby greens
1 cup candied walnuts
3 tablespoons dried cherries
1/2 cup cherry vinaigrette
Coarse salt, ground black pepper
1 small pear, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1. For nuts, simmer water, sugar, vanilla on medium. Add nuts; cook 15-20 minutes. Put nuts on parchment paper in one layer. Heat oil to 350F. Add a few nuts. Let foam subside; add more. Fry 2 minutes. Toss with salt, pepper.
2. For vinaigrette, simmer juices, cherries, wine, vinegar, shallots on low 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Puree until smooth. With machine on high, slowly add oil until emulsified. Season with salt.
3. Toss greens, nuts, cherries, vinaigrette, salt, pepper. Toss pears in remaining vinaigrette. Add to salads with cheese.