Sautéed Pear Salad (serves 4) I have had pears and blue cheese on my mind since I last wrote. I was reminded of another way I love putting the two together…into this warm yet crisp salad. I first thought of the idea years ago when my husband and I were getting guests for the Christmas Holiday so I had to do a lot of planning on what to serve (We rarely had family visit with us on a holiday – this was special!). His parents were flying out to spend it with us and I wanted to have a really special meal for both Christmas Eve and Day. This was the outcome and I served it Christmas Day as a starter to our meal. I am happy to report they really liked it and my mother-in-law asked for the recipe to take back to New Jersey with her. I guess you can now say it is being made across the country.
3 medium Pears (Firm but ripe) – Peeled, core and stem removed, and sliced
1 tbsp of Butter
1 tbsp of Brown Sugar
¼ cup of Dried Cranberries
Zest and Juice of ½ a Lemon
8 oz Spring Mix Greens, Arugulla, or one medium to small head of Red Leaf - cleaned and chopped small
½ cup of Walnut Halves (toasted)
Olive Oil to drizzle
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Gorgonzola (amount depends on taste) Crumbled (Slightly creamy works well)
First, heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Melt your butter and add your sliced pears. Their juices will release and give them a good stir so that they are coated. Sprinkle in your brown sugar, dried cranberries and lemon zest.
Next, in a platter place your salad greens. Drizzle them lightly with your Olive oil and sprinkle it with sea salt. In your sauté pan add your lemon juice, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and stir.
Finally, take your sautéed pear mixture while still warm and pour over your prepared salad greens. Top it off with your walnuts and Gorgonzola. Please serve immediately. There is no need to “toss” the salad. The juices and sauce from the pears distribute as you pour it over the greens.
Note: You need to eat this salad while the pear mixture is warm and the greens are crisp…if you wait too long your greens will wilt and the salad will have no contrast. **This is also a salad to serve on a platter, not in a deep bowl.