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Caramelized Pear, Blue Cheese, and Honey-Roasted Almond Salad

Caramelized Pear, Blue Cheese, and Honey-Roasted Almond Salad
6 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (97% score)
by in Jan 2005
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Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes; active time: 20 minutes


SOME FLAVORS WERE made for each other -- cheddar with apples, coffee with chocolate, and pears with blue cheese and almonds. The sweetness of pears is the perfect complement to the creamy tang of blue cheese and rich, nutty flavors.


The following salad is really made in four stages, but each step is simple and can be done ahead of time. I start with whichever type of pear looks best at the market (all work equally well). For cooking purposes, I choose pears that are firm, but not hard; for eating raw, pears should be fragrant and slightly soft at the stem end.


You can leave the skin on, but peel the pears if you object to the slightly bitter taste of the outside skin. If the pears are going to sit for a while, I dip the cut side of the pear in lemon or pineapple juice to prevent browning.


If you are short on time, slice the pears thinly and caramelize them in a skillet, omitting the baking step completely, or, if you're very rushed, simply slice the pears and serve raw. Either way, use cold, crisp salad greens as a bed for your pears and shake up a homemade dressing. I keep a lidded bottle marked with a line at 1/4 cup and 1 cup, which allows me to pour in the standard ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil without using a measuring cup. For this salad, I've added a little honey, shallot, salt, and pepper. However, ingredients like Dijon mustard, chopped onion, minced garlic, herbs, and spices are all classic additions to this sauce.


Judy Feagin

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 moderately firm pears (any variety)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Honey-Roasted Almonds
  • Honey Vinaigrette
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Cut pears in half; core if desired. Sprinkle cut side with sugar.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Place pear halves in butter, cut side down. Cook 2 to 5 minutes until cut surface is golden. Remove pear halves and place, cut side up, in a lightly greased roasting pan.


Bake 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Place hot pears on a bed of salad greens. Sprinkle blue cheese and Honey-Roasted Almonds over salad. Drizzle with Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with additional pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Honey-Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions:

Total time: 45 minutes; active time: 20 minutes


Stir together almonds and honey. Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring after 10 minutes. Spoon onto waxed paper to cool.


Yield: 3/4 cup

Honey Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Instructions:

Total time: 45 minutes; active time: 20 minutes


Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake vigorously.


Yield: about 1-1/4 cups

Updated Monday, February 7th, 2005

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3 Responses to Caramelized Pear, Blue Cheese, and Honey-Roasted Almond Salad

  1. Patricia Corrigan February 22, 2006 at 7:41 am #

    This is a fabulous salad. It is the reason I became an online member of Yankee Magazine (I already subscribe to the hard copy). I made it last year, moved, lost my copy, and had to find it again so searched online. Even people who don’t love pears or salads love this. Wonderful taste, texture and presentation.

  2. Kate Charron April 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    I have made this several times and get asked over and over to make again, SO GOOD!

  3. Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    I’ve made this several times, it’s amazing!

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