Looking for a special side dish for the upcoming holidays?……… Roasted Pear Salad is it!
I am a recent convert to fruit on a green salad ………..well recent as in the last 10 years……ok so not so recent, but it is a taste to behold.
In my experience, salad was always lettuce,tomato,cucumber…….blah,blah,blah. So, the first time I tried fruit I was surprised how good it was, so I tried it again, and again and it kept getting better and better.
If you read my blog, you know if something catches my eye at the store it will make its way here…….lucky you!
I saw these pears and a fall salad came right to my mind. The pears on a bed of baby greens with walnuts and blue cheese……..sounded yummy. Some kind of vinaigrette to dress the salad……I had a plan.
Now, the biggest problem I have with apples or pears on a salad is that they turn color so easily unless you serve it right away and I am the make ahead type of gal!
I have tried lemon juice and the trick of soaking in 7-up, but never with much luck. I know you all can’t see it, but sometime a light bulb goes off in my head……..no really it does……..
If I roasted the pears the only color they would turn is a pretty, fall golden color, and what’s better than butter to make that happen?…….Paula Deen has the whole butter thing right, everything is better with butter.
So, cut side down in butter and 20 minutes later add a touch of balsamic…….it was going in the dressing, so why not add the flavor to the pears?…….light bulb! When they came out of the oven I wanted them to soak up all that balsamic butter flavor so, even though it was all I could do not too……..I left them cut side down until they were completely cool. When I turned them over…………I swear they were the most beautiful things, all glossy and golden. I knew I made the right choice. Another plus to preparing the pears this way besides them not turning colors, you can make them ahead,along with all the other things for the salad, and put it together at a moments notice. Perfect if you are going to a holiday happening and you are ask to bring the salad……totally portable.
Blue cheese and walnuts “pear” beautifully with pears. I like gorgonzola better than regular blue cheese. To me it has a smoother creamy flavor, but by all means use what ever blue type cheese you like best. Toasting the walnuts…….or any nut for that matter, enhances their taste, like a million, billion times………if you have never tried it, you really have too!
I used individual plates, but if you were taking this to a get-together you can use a platter and just slice the pears. But, I wanted a fancy smancy plate, so heres how it went…….Baby greens, roasted pear half ( cut side up to show all it beauty), sprinkle with gorgonzola and walnut……serve with Honey Balsamic Dressing.
Both Tim and I thought the presentation was elegant and beautiful…….then we ate the salad…….the seas parted and angels sang……..ok not really, but it was a little piece of heaven.
So, impress your friends, family or significant other with this beautiful looking and tasty fall salad Roasted Pear Salad……..it will “leaf” them breathless !
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 8x8 inch baking dish. Place in oven to melt butter. Remove core from pears halves using a melon baller or a small spoon.
Place pears cut side down in the melted butter and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar,return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let set until room temperature. Do not remove the pears from the baking dish until completely cooled.
Divide the mixed green among 4 plates. Top greens with one pear half,skin side up. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.