Pear and Blue Cheese Salad and a Winner!

Recently, we’ve been out here a lot. On our lake.

It’s been a hard year for me to even attempt to get out there, what with the littlest kiddo still attached to me by physical force. Also, she’s not quite big enough to be stuffed into a life jacket and tossed into a boat for a joy ride. I don’t think she would appreciate the beautiful scenery as much as the rest of us do.

So when the stars and planets align correctly, and she goes to sleep when there are people (ie. awesome grandparents) around to stay watch, we nip out of the house as fast as possible, launch our little boat (The Hum Dinghy) and head out on the still waters. It may be fall, and the leaves are a’changin’ but that’s when the trout bite the hardest.

I captain the boat, while the boys drop their lines in. And then we wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Sometimes we are so lucky as to actually catch some dinner….

But mostly we go to enjoy ourselves, spend time as a family, joke around and have fun. Sure it’s nice to say we caught dinner ourselves, but mostly we go to remind ourselves why we live here. We sacrificed a few none too small things so that we could live in the pristine conditions that we do, and I have to remember the reasons why sometimes. These are those moments.

When that rod tip starts bobbing and this kid starts jumping up and getting excited, that’s when I realize that he is getting such an extraordinary upbringing. His sister will one day soon be able to participate in the family shenanigans and I am eagerly awaiting those moments too. Days when the boys go off and do their thing, and me and my little princess get to hang out together. There really is an amazing dynamic underway when you have one of each. Not that I don’t want to get down and dirty with the boys, digging for worms and catching frogs, I do that too. But I want those totally girly, mommy and daughter moments that make most people want to puke. I really do.

Maybe she’ll be in the kitchen with me, tiny apron strings wrapped around her belly, hair full of flour, hands a mess, helping mommy make dinner. And maybe one day she’ll make me a dish like this one, a dish full of autumn flavours and colours. Pears are in season now and available locally in most places, so get your hands on some and make this salad. It takes less time then catching a trout for dinner and the flavours are just simply perfect for fall.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

For Poached Pears:

2 just ripe bosc pears, peeled (stems intact)
3 cups inexpensive red wine (non-alcoholic works too)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp sugar
2 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
2 whole cardamom pods
1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 whole black peppercorns

1. Fill a large pot with all ingredients (except pears).
2. Bring to boil, lower to a simmer for eight minutes and then and add in pears.
3. Cook pears for 10-15 minutes (turn pears every few minutes if liquid does not cover completely) or enough to soften them slightly, but not turn them to mush.
4. Cool pears in cooking liquid and set aside.

For Composed Salad:

1 cup walnut halves
8 cups arugula/spinach mix
125g blue cheese
200g prosciutto

1. In a 400°F oven, roast walnuts for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
2. On plates, lay out equal portions of arugula and spinach.
3. Crumble equal portions of blue cheese over each.
4. Chop the prosciutto as you like and sprinkle over salad.
5. Toss walnuts equally amongst salads.
6. Slice each cooled pear into halves, scoop out seeds and stem with a melon baller or spoon. Slice into thin strips and fan out each half over top of salad.
7. Dress with a vinaigrette. I used a blackberry vinaigrette.

Similarly delicious recipes on other blogs:

Blue Cheese and Pear Tart on Nami Nami
Caramelized Pear “Cupcakes” With Blue Cheese Frosting on Herbivoracious
Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Onion Pear Jam on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Blue Cheese and Pear Pizza on Recipe Girl
Pear Crostada with Honey, Blue Cheese, and Almonds on Nummy Kitchen

Also the giveaway winner for the book “What to Eat with What you Drink” was Julia:

Julia
October 1st, 2010 at 9:34 am · Edit
Dang it, I can’t eat this for another 4 months, but after that, it’s on! I might eat the entire thing…Which may lead to a nasty hangover but I am pretty sure it will be well worth it. This looks just AMAZING!!!!
Julia´s last blog ..SMore Cake

So congratulations Julia! I know you can’t use a lot of the book for another four months (being preggo and all), but when you can, you’re going to love it! Also, it does feature non-alcoholic pairings for some dishes as well! I will contact you with details!

10 comments to Pear and Blue Cheese Salad and a Winner!

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