Sharon's Recipes

MARCH: Roasted Pear, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnut Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

This composed salad makes a lovely presentation and tastes divine.

The Salad

Ingredients:

3/4 lb mesclun greens
4 pears, semi-hard
1/4 lb goat cheese
1/2 head garlic
4 T butter
1/4 lb pecans or walnuts
2 T sugar
Fig Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Roast the garlic:
Place all but 2 of the garlic cloves in a pan. Cover with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven until soft.
In a bowl, mash the roasted garlic with the goat cheese. Squeeze the reserved garlic cloves in a press and add to the mixture to intensify the flavor.

Bake the pears:
Cut the pears in half length-wise. Leave the skin on, but scoop out the seeds and cut out the stems. Brush the pears with lemon juice. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and pour it onto the bottom of a sheet pan. Place the pears face down on the butter. Bake at 350 degrees until tender,  but firm enough to hold shape, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Candied Nuts:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Add the nuts and sprinkle the sugar over them. Toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the nuts are slightly browned and the sugar is set.

Fig Vinaigrette:  

Ingredients:

1/3 cup dried figs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp black mustard seed
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon shallots
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1/2 of the figs in the water until soft.  Puree in your cuisinart. Add the rest of the ingredients in sequence.  Finely chop the remaining figs and add to the vinaigrette.

To serve:
Reheat the pears until just warm.  Using a spoon or piping bag, fill the center of each pear with the room temperature cheese mix.

Toss the mesclun with the vinaigrette.

Compose individual plates  with a bed of mesclun. Place pear half on the greens. Sprinkle with candied nuts and drizzle a little Fig Vinaigrette over the pear and cheese.

Serves 8

 

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