For a sophisticated start to an elaborate meal, try this simple salad of honey-rich pears, fresh
Parmesan and aromatic leaves of rocket.

3 ripe pears, Williams or Packhams
10ml/2tsp lemon juice
45 mi/3 tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
115 g/4 oz rocket
75 g/3 oz Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
open-textured bread, to serve
Serves 4
Peel and core the pears and slice thickly. Moisten with lemon juice to keep the flesh white.
Combine the nut oil with the pears. Add the rocket leaves and toss.
Turn the salad out on to 4 small plates and top with shavings of Parmesan cheese. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with open- textured bread.

If you are unable to buy rocket easily, you can grow your own from early spring to late summer.