Sunday, May 8, 2011

Roasted Pear & Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This salad tastes pretty fancy. The flavors are really incredible. I found the base recipe from Eating Well and doctored it up with prosciutto and some homemade blue cheese and walnut crisps. If you are not feeling super ambitious, just sprinkle some good blue cheese and chopped walnuts over top and you'll get the same effect as the crisps.

And then I put some prosciutto on it...

Roasted Pear & Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from

  • 6 small ripe but firm pears
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup OR 2 tablespoons honey mixed with a little water to thin it out
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chile, or more to taste
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups mixed baby lettuces
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • prosciutto (optional)
  • blue cheese crisps or blue cheese and walnuts (optional and recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice off the base of each pear so it will stand upright. Use an apple corer (or small spoon) to remove cores, if desired, working from the base up. Peel if desired, but leave the stems on. Place the pears on a baking sheet and brush with agave syrup or honey. Roast until browned and tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
  3. Whisk pomegranate juice, vinegar, oil, brown sugar, orange zest, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, chipotle and cloves in a large bowl or puree in a blender.
  4. Toss arugula and lettuce with the dressing in a large bowl and divide among 6 chilled plates. Set a pear on each plate and scatter some pomegranate seeds, prosciutto, cheese, and walnuts on the greens (if using).
Blue Cheese Crisps
Recipe from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson

This makes a lot of crisps. If only using for the salad, I would suggest halving the recipe.
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried or minced fresh sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped medium-fine
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sage, and black pepper. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cheese and butter and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in the walnuts on low speed. The dough should be fairly stiff, with small chunks of cheese and walnut visible. You can do these same steps with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon, mixing the ingredients in the same order.

Transfer the dough to parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap well and freeze until hard, about 2 hours.Or, gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap well in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

Unwrap the log and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. If you have shaped the dough into a disk, unwrap, place on a floured work surface, and roll out into a square or rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 inch squares, 1-by-2-inch rectangles, or whatever shape you like. Arrange the crackers on the prepared pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake the crisps until golden brown on the edges and lighter in the center, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The crisps will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.