Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

This salad has got some personality. Gorgonzola is on the milder side of the blue cheeses, but boy, it's no sissy. There are some great flavors working together in this perky little number.

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (or other type of lettuce)
  • 2 ripe pears, sliced
  • 1/2 - 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup honey mustard vinaigrette (click here for recipe) or some other mild dressing
Candy the walnuts by melting the butter in shallow pan. I like to break up the walnuts into much smaller pieces, but you can leave them whole if you'd like. Add the walnuts and brown sugar, stirring constantly. Cook until fragrant and golden brown. I burn them 100% of the time, so please be careful. It's really upsetting if you let it go too long. Let them cool before putting on the salad.

Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Mix in the pear slices, crumbled Gorgonzola, and cranberries. Add the dressing and walnuts immediately before serving.

If you're serving individual plates at a fancy dinner party or something, try this for some presentation points. Pile the lettuce in the center of a plate, then place some of the pear slices in a fan shape up against it. Instead of crumbling the Gorgonzola, cut it in a slice or a wedge and then lean it up on the pear. Sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts on top, and serve with the dressing.