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Ever since our very first Valentines together, my husband and I have cooked and enjoyed this romantic meal at home.

I love this Poached Pear Salad because it has the appearance of being very elegant and special, but yet is easy to make.

POACHED PEAR SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE AND CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE

poached pear salad

PEARS

1 750-ml bottle red wine

1 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

4 pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored

VINAIGRETTE AND SALAD

1/4 cup minced shallot

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

mixed baby greens

1 cup walnut pieces, toasted

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

PEARS

Bring red wine, orange juice, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick, to a boil in a large wide saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pear halves, cut side down. Return syrup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer uncovered until pears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Drain pears. Leaving top 1 inch intact, cut each pear half lengthwise into thin slices. Gently press on pear halves to fan slightly.

VINAIGRETTE AND SALAD

Whisk shallot, vinegar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Place greens in a large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Mound greens on plates. Arrange 1 pear half atop greens on each plate. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with more vinaigrette, if desired and serve.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2009

www.bonappetit.com/

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