Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts


This is one of my favorite Ina’s recipes. I so wanted to share it but I didn’t have a perfect picture of a roasted pear sitting on a bed of arugula. So I decided to forego the perfection and just post it. I made a small variation to an otherwise great recipe: I did not toast my walnuts before I put them in the oven. I did the first time I made this recipe and I discovered they got a bit burnt.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on www.foodnetwork.com

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe but firm Anjou pears
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons good cognac
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups arugula
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves. With a small sharp paring knife and a mellon 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.

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.

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

Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Add the arugula and toss well. 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 pepper, and serve.

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