Just because it is winter does not mean you need to eat boring salads. Cooking seasonally is a great way to get the freshest ingredients and cook outside the box. I must admit I get into ruts all the time when it comes to salad. I don’t know how many Greek Salads I have made for my family. All the ingredients are available year round and with some added chicken it becomes a complete meal. We were given some fresh pears around the holidays and since we were traveling within a few days I decided to try roasted pears in a salad. With a blue cheese filling these are decadent enough to serve as a main dish but were fabulous with a steak dinner my husband prepared.
The Barefoot Contessa inspired this recipe and if you are hosting a dinner party, the pears can be served room temperature which means you can make these ahead of time. I can not resist a recipe that you can make ahead of time.
Surprise the family with Roasted Pears with Arugula Salad recipe one night and they will forever be indebted to you.
The biggest time consumer is preparing the fresh Pears. It really only takes a few minutes the goodness is created in the roasting process.
Now make the filling. If you are watching calories, you might want to reduce the amount of blue cheese or find a less flavorful low fat version.
I could eat this filling by itself but you must stuff your pears!
You need to baste these babies every once in a while but it is well worth it.
Check out that color. Now check it out over a bed of arugula salad.
This is a meal in itself but also makes a great starter for a dinner party.
- 3 ripe but firm pears
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 lemons
- 3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese, block is better than pre-crumbled
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider or juice
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 6 ounces baby arugula
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves. With a small sharp paring knife and a melon baller, remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling. Trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of each pear half so that they will sit in the baking dish without wobbling. As you prepare pears, toss them with some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Arrange them, core side up, in a baking dish large enough to hold the pears snugly.
- Gently toss the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the pears, mounding it on top of the indentation.
- In the same small bowl, combine the apple juice or cider, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting every 10 minutes with the cider mixture, for 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Set aside until ready to serve. (cover them once they have cooled to room temperature)
- Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Divide the arugula among 6 plates and top each with a pear half. Drizzle each pear with some of the lemon/ basting mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.