Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roasted Pear Salad

Introducing my new favorite salad! It's simple and looks impressive—the perfect combination! Tonight we were having soup from the freezer for dinner and I wanted to pair it with a fresh salad. I'm currently on a quest to empty out my fridge and pantry, so I looked through some cookbooks for inspiration for my on-hand ingredients. This recipe is based on one in Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics. I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand, and the result is terrific. Andy offered high praise by saying this is his new favorite as well. This salad will probably make an encore appearance at supper club this weekend. Enjoy!

Roasted Pear Salad
2 pears
2 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. chopped pecans
1/3 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. brandy
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Baby arugula
Chopped romaine or green leaf lettuce
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut pears in half; use a melon baller to remove seeds and cores and to create a space for blue cheese mixture. Place pears in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine blue cheese and next 2 ingredients. Sprinkle into cavities in pears. Combine apple juice and next 3 ingredients; stir until brown sugar dissolves. Pour apple juice mixture over pears in baking dish.
2. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.
3. Arrange lettuces on individual plates. Top each with one pear half. Pour warm pan juices into a glass measuring cup, and whisk in olive oil. Drizzle over salads. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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