Fresh Poached Pear, Toasted Pecan and Bleu Cheese Salad with Pear Vinaigrette
- 1 head Boston lettuce
- 3/4 -cup pear vinaigrette, recipe follows
- 4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted
- 2 poached pears, recipe follows, halved and cored
- For Poached Pears:
- 4 Bosc pears
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 orange peel
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- Pear Vinaigrette:
- 2 poached pears, pureed
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup poaching liquid from the poached pears
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To assemble salad, wash lettuce well and drain until very dry. Toss leaves in the pear vinaigrette in a salad bowl. Add the bleu cheese and pecans.
Place a mound of lettuce on each of 4 plates. Serve with 1/2 a poached pear.For Poached Pears:
Peel pears, leaving stems intact and trimming bottom to "seat" them firmly in bottom of large stockpot.
Into the stockpot, add the wine, water, sugar, vanilla bean, star anise, lemon and orange peels, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Reserve 1/4 cup of poaching liquid for the vinaigrette.Pear Vinaigrette:
Place ingredients in large bowl and whisk together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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