Caramelized Pear, Blue Cheese and Toasted Almond Salad
- Ingredients for the Dressing
- 2 tbsps Fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp Shallot, finely minced
- 1 tsp Fresh tarragon, minced
- 2 1/2 tsps Salt
- 12 Grinds of freshly ground black pepper
- Ingredients for Salad:
- 2 ozs Point Reyes Blue or other creamy blue cheese
- 1/2 cup Slivered almonds
- 1 Pear, ripe but still firm
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Westerly Sauvignon Blanc
- Spray olive oil
- 12 cups Baby arugula or baby greens
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, tarragon, salt and pepper and adjust taste with more salt, if needed. Put the dressing in the refrigerator.
Put the cheese in a small bowl and crumble using the prongs of a fork. Put into the refrigerator.
Toast the slivered almonds until golden brown. Set aside.
Cut the pear in half. Use a melon scoop to remove the seeds. Cut out the woody stem from seeds to stem if there is one. Cut each half in four slices and lay them on a paper towel, blotting the top to dry them on all sides.
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Measure out the wine.
Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed pan until hot, then spray liberally with olive oil. Put the pear slices in the pan and sear. Shake the pan to make sure the slices don’t stick to the pan. After a minute, or until the pear has brown color, turn the slices and add the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and the wine. Boil the sauce down to reduce to a sticky coating. Turn the slices carefully a couple of times to coat them in the caramelized sauce. Remove pan from heat.
Put the greens in a large wooden bowl and toss with some dressing—about 1/2 cup—so they are lightly coated with dressing. Plate the salad into two bowl, put four slices of pear on each, then top with the toasted almonds and crumbled blue cheese. Serve with the remaining 2013 Westerly Sauvignon Blanc..
–recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi