poached pear salad with blue cheese

Makes 4 to 6 servings

This is the season for delicious local pears in a salad that come to life with the flavourful cheese.

  • 4 or 6 red or green lettuce leave, washed, gently dried in spinner
  • 3 or 4 medium-sized ripe but firm pears e.g. Bartlett or Anjou
  • ½ cup (125 ml) or more if needed of red wine or cranberry juice
  • 1 or 2 green onions, finely sliced white and light green parts
  • 3 oz (90g) Blue or Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) walnut or extra-virgin oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) white wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) toasted walnut halves or large pieces

1.  Cut away thick lettuce stems. Place leaves between paper towels and chill. Peel pears, halve, pull off stems and use melon baller to spoon to remove core.

2.  In small saucepan, bring wine or juice to a simmer. Add the pear halves, cut side down; they should be just covered with liquid. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until tender when pierced with tip of sharp knife. Remove pears and cool on plate core side up; reserve juice for another use.

3.  In a small a bowl, mix cheese, onions and black pepper. Use a fork to mix ingredients then add spoonful of cheese mixture and place in the core of each pear half. Mix vinaigrette with oil, vinegar and salt. To toast walnut add to a hot dry frying pan over medium-high heat tossing nuts just until a nut aroma rises.

4.  To assemble salad, place 1 or 2 lettuce leaves on plate within plate’s rim to show off salad as a frame does to a picture. Place 1 or 2 pear halves on the lettuce. Dribble with vinaigrette and garnish with the walnuts.