Inspired by the all the pear and cherry blossom that has been delighting me for the past few weeks, I whipped up this delicious roasted pear, blue cheese and cherry salad the other day. Sunny weather always makes salads more appealing to me, and as this is a warm salad it is also fabulous even on a chilly Spring day.
This salad makes a delicious lunch for three (perhaps served with some good, crusty bread), or is a great starter for 6. I’m always on the look out for salad recipes that are a bit more interesting than my habitual bag of lettuce with chopped cucumber, tomato and chicken breast. What are you favourite salad recipes / combinations? Please do let me know!
- 3 ripe but firm pears
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese such as Stilton
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons port
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 6 ounces mixed salad leaves
- Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190° C.
- Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves. With a spoon (or melon baller if you have one), remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling.
- With a small sharp knife, trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of each pear half so that they will sit flat 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 cherries, and walnuts together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the pears, filling the scooped out hole in the pears.
- In the same small bowl, combine the white wine, port, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the wine mixture, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Set aside until warm or at room temperature.
- Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Divide the salad 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.