The pan juices from the warmed pears are deglazed with balsamic vinegar, then combined with olive oil to make the dressing for this winter salad. Although I suggest blue cheese—a bleu d' auvergne, stilton or gorgonzola, for example—a soft brie or pont l' evêque would also be good. You can also substitute a mixture of watercress and Belgian endive for the assorted baby greens.
2 cups assorted baby greens;
including arugula, frisée, escarole, green chicories,
radicchio, and red and green lettuces
1/4 pound sharp blue cheese, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 medium-sized pears;
preferably a firm winter
variety such as Bosc or Anjou
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Divide the greens and cheese among 4 salad plates, arranging them attractively. Set aside.
Halve the pears lengthwise and remove the stems and cores. In a skillet just large enough to hold the 4 pear halves in a single layer, melt the butter over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the pear halves, placing them cut side down. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, shaking the pan back and forth to prevent them from sticking. Turn over the pears and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and, using a sharp knife, cut each pear half lengthwise into thin slices. Arrange a sliced pear half on each salad plate.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the vinegar. Cook 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly to deglaze. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, Drizzle each pear half with a little of the vinegar-oil mixture and serve immediately.
The Vegetarian Table: France
By Georgeanne Brennan
Chronicle Books, 1995
Color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created September 2000
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