Monday, January 9, 2012

Roasted Pear Salad

Recipe found at Epicurious by Ellen Ecker Ogden
The Complete Kitchen Garden
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

If you are looking for a perfectly lovely autumn/winter salad to serve special guests, this is it.  There’s the sweetness of the roasted pears, the crunch of the toasted nuts, the sharpness of the gorgonzola cheese and the tartness of the cranberries all dancing on the tongue in one bite.  Delish!!  All the ingredients can be found at Lost River Market & Deli.

4 firm, almost-ripe pears (Bartlett or Bosc), peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
2 Tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
6 cups arugula or mixed salad greens
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Wedge of Gorgonzola cheese
Crisped Prosciutto, if desired (See directions below.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the pears, sugar, and butter. Arrange the pears in a single layer in a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until the pears are barely tender, 10—15 minutes.
3. Dry roast the pine nuts in a skillet for 5 minutes, until toasty brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. In a large salad bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, and maple syrup. Add the arugula or salad greens and toss to coat.
5. Divide the salad onto four chilled plates. Arrange the roasted pears in a fan around the center, and sprinkle with the cranberries, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Scatter with petals from the calendula blossoms.

Crisped Prosciutto
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place slices of Prosciutto on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or fit a wire cooling rack into an edged cookie sheet, which allows air circulation and crisping on both sides of prosciutto in addition to catching any grease.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Break into shards.

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