Roasted Pear with Blue Cheese Salad

October 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Salads | 33 Comments
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When our friends Kathy and Tom invited us to a dinner party and asked that I bring a salad, I knew I wanted to throw together something seasonal…a  salad that oozed Fall. Since we’ve had unseasonably hot temperatures, I wanted something that reminded us of falling leaves, crisp temperatures and sweater weather. Opening up my recipe database, my salad section didn’t fail me. This Ina recipe was just waiting to join the party.

My notes indicate that about two years ago I watched Ina make this on her show and promptly headed over to Food Network and copied  the recipe into my database.  Don’t know why I haven’t given it a try until now. 

The flavors are exquisite.  The sweet baked pear topped with the rich pungent port wine sauce, stuffed with blue cheese, a crunch of walnut  and a tart craisin, finished with lemon and olive oil, all nestled on a bed of peppery arugula make this a wonderful combination of flavors and a perfect fall salad. This recipe has been moved from my “Salads” chapter to my “Fabulous Finds”  in my cookbook database. Take a look:

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese:

3 ripe but firm Anjou pears
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
3 oz coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese such as Stilton
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
3 Tbs port
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 oz baby arugula
Kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. 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. Toss the pears 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.

3. 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.

4. In the same small bowl, combine the apple cider, port, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the cider mixture, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Set aside until warm or at room temperature.

5. 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 basting liquid, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

Servings: 6

Roasted Pear with Blue Cheese…

It’s What’s For a Fall Salad.



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  1. This sounds fantastic! I love the idea of presenting it in half of a pear. Lovely and perfect for fall.

  2. Glad you had time to post this – looks outstanding – never had anything like it.

  3. I will also have to save this recipe and give it a try. It sounds and looks soooo good. Ina’s recipes are just the best.

    • Thanks Kirsten. It’s a great little recipe and with just a little effort you look all fancy-schmancy

  4. My mouth started watering as I read this – seriously! I am in love with melted bleu cheese and apples so I can only imagine how much better it is with roasted pears, walnuts, lemon juice. Man! Thanks for sharing. I’m making this one for sure.

    • It’s a great little recipe! Let me know when you try it and what you think.

  5. What a beautiful fall salad! Blue cheese are pears are a dynamite flavor combination.

    • Absolutely Cathy. I thought about using those hazelnuts, but just couldn’t bear to make the change from Walnuts. 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you like Ina as much as I do and try the recipes we watch her make. This one looked lovely when I saw it and even better now that you’ve made it! Such a super combination of flavors.

    • Barbara, it’s really pretty easy too. I love watching Food Network and when I see something I like, I can simply sign on to their website, search it and copy it. 🙂

  7. Its really making my mouth water. I see Vickie had the same reaction.

    Way to go Lea Ann

  8. Pears with bleu cheese is one of my favorite combinations! This looks so easy and delicious… gotta try it soon!

  9. One of my most favorite salads has always been the pear/bleu cheese salad at Nordstrom’s Cafe; so much so that I recreated it at home and though I love it…have to tell you this one with the port and cranberries is making my mouth water…fabulous!

    • I wish that Nordstrom cafe was still open. Are you talking about the one that was off the men’s dept. on the first floor? I used to love their gorganzola cream dressing. ohmy

      • I just republished my own post for this recipe and when I did a search to see what else was out there; your post was listed!

        There used to be a restaurant by the men’s department on the first floor but the Cafe has always been on the third floor and it’s still there, near the home furnishing (blink and you’ll miss that department). Would be a great meeting spot for us. Chef on premises and this unknown spot is just one of my very favorites!

  10. Been there, done that.

    Oh yeah, that’s right…you made it for me. Last Sunday.

    Honestly, it was off the charts. thanks

    • Thanks Dan! I wish we could get together every Sunday on one of your decks. Great time.

  11. I’m pretty sure that Ina just never fails to please. This pear salad is a classic filled with a glorious combination of textures and flavors!

    • Thanks Joanne! It’s a keeper, and I agree, you can always depend on Ina. 🙂

  12. What an impressive salad. It would definitely impress company. Sweet pear and creamy blue cheese. Lovely!

  13. I like the crusty blue cheese baked onto these pears, a nice pair!

    • Absolutely Chris…It did get a nice little ooey gooey crust.

  14. OMG, a truly inspired recipe – I’d like to post it on our recipe database, with credits, links and your permission of course! Just finished a couple pears from Ela Farms in Hotchkiss, the best I’ve ever eaten! Will have to buy more and make this recipe – but will probably eat the whole batch myself with a bottle of port – wowsers!

    • We did use a high quality port for this, Yalumba Antique Tawny Museum Reserve and you can bet we’ve enjoyed sipping it this week with some good quality blue cheese. Yum.

  15. Oh, I would love this! It makes for a very elegant presentation, too.

    • I agree Karen. It’s easy, tasty and impressive on the plate. Love this Ina recipe.

  16. Oh my gosh, LeaAnn…pear and bleu cheese is one of the best combinations ever. This looks fabulous 🙂

    • Thanks Heather. It’s a nice little dish.

  17. This salad looks terrific! I’m always looking for new salad ideas, and I’d love to try this one.

  18. The pear looks amazing. I love that baked bleu cheese!

  19. This is a perfect leap into autumn dish… Pears and blue cheese are going to carry you through the winter season too. Beautiful salad. I will remember this for entertaining.

  20. What a great presentation. Bet your kitchen smelled wonderful with all that going on

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