Recipe Corner: Grape Salad with Pecans and Roquefort Cheese


Guest Recipe By David Vartanian



3/4 cup pecan halves, more to taste

1 egg white, beaten

1/4 cup brown sugar

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1 shallot, diced

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 cups assorted baby greens

2 cups seedless grapes

4 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

6 thin slices prosciutto



Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat pecans with beaten egg white; toss with brown sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

Whisk together the shallots and vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine greens, grapes, Roquefort cheese and tomatoes in a salad bowl. Add the dressing to lightly coat the greens. Place on chilled plates, and top each serving with a slice of prosciutto and pecans.


Serves 6.


Chef and owner David Vartanian prepares a dish during a recent cooking class in the main dining room at The Vintage Press Restaurante in Visalia. (


Wine Spectator writes The Vintage Press has “one of the best wine lists in the world,” while Fodor’s raves it is “the best restaurant in the Central Valley,” and the L.A. Times applauds it as “a bastion of culinary merit.”


*Best Chefs America features premier chefs that have been nominated and recommended by their peers in the culinary field.

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