BRAISED FENNEL SALAD
WITH PEARS AND GORGONZOLA
In a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil until smoking and add the fennel. Cook, stirring regularly, until it is softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and continue cooking until very soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the fennel from the pan and set aside to cool.
Divide the pears evenly among four warmed dinner plates. In a small bowl, combine the fennel and watercress with the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Divide this mixture evenly among the plates, atop the pear slices. Smear a generous tablespoon of gorgozola across each slice of baguette and place one atop each salad. Sprinkle shiso chiffonade over each plate, drizzle each crostino with cherry vinegar, and serve.