This spectacular salad reminds me of a still-life painting. Circle the edge of the plate with endive leaves, overlap them with juicy, fragrant slices of honeydew, top with fanned pear slices, and sprinkle with fresh mint leaves. On a hot day, this salad tastes as refreshing as it looks. Serve with grilled chicken or just bread and cheese for a light meal.
1. For the Honey Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the almond oil, agave, vinegar and salt. Refrigerate the dressing while you assemble the salad.
2. Place individual endive leaves, starting with the largest ones, side by side around the edge of an oval or circular serving platter, with the narrowed end of each leaf pointing toward the rim and overlapping the outer ring of leaves. Continue placing the leaves, saving the smallest to use in the center. Set the platter aside or place in the refrigerator if there's enough room.
3. Slice the honeydew in half, remove the seeds, then halve each section so that you have 4 quarters. Slice the rind off each quarter. Slice the melon crescent lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. You should have 6-8 pieces from each quarter. Refrigerate.
4. Just before assembling the salad, cut the pears in half lengthwise and core them with a melon baller or a spoon. Quarter them and slice the quarters into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set aside.
5. Arrange the melon slices to form a circle on top of the endive so that just the tips of the endive leaves show. Make a slightly smaller circle with the pear slices, fanning them to spiral toward the center. Whisk the dressing briefly to mix and drizzle about 1/3 cup over the salad. Pour the remainder into a serving dish to pass at the table.
6. Stack the mint leaves on top of one another and roll them tightly like a cigar. Thinly slice the roll from end to end, making long, thin strands. Finely chop the strands and sprinkle over the salad. Garnish lightly with the chopped walnuts, if desired, and serve immediately.