|Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
For Poached Pears:
2 just ripe bosc pears, peeled (stems intact)
3 cups inexpensive red wine (non-alcoholic works too)
1/2 cup water
3 TBS sugar
2 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
2 whole cardamom pods
1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 whole black peppercorns
Fill a large pot with all ingredients (except pears). Bring to boil, lower to a simmer for eight minutes and then and add in pears.
Cook pears for 10-15 minutes (turn pears every few minutes if liquid does not cover completely) or enough to soften them slightly, but not turn them to mush. Cool pears in cooking liquid and set aside.
For Composed Salad:
1 cup walnut halves
8 cups arugula/spinach mix
4-5 oz blue cheese
7-8 oz prosciutto
In a 400°F oven, roast walnuts for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
On plates, lay out equal portions of arugula and spinach.
Crumble equal portions of blue cheese over each.
Chop the prosciutto as you like and sprinkle over salad.
Toss walnuts equally amongst salads.
Slice each cooled pear into halves, scoop out seeds and stem with a melon baller or spoon. Slice into thin strips and fan out each half over top of salad.
Dress with a vinaigrette. Blackberry vinaigrette recipe follows.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 pints fresh blackberries
1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 TBS white balsamic vinegar
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS honey
3 TBS verjus (or try using juice from 1/2 a lemon instead)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
kosher salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, process the blackberries until puréed. Remove and strain out the left over solids and seeds through a fine mesh sieve.
Return to food processor with the chopped onions and purée until completely liquefied.
Mix in remaining ingredients, tasting as you go.
Great with spinach salad!
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes