Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Salad Daze

Red Pears

As we head into September, some local farms are already bringing their pears and apples to market, and it's a perfect time to make a salad using these juicy pears.  Roasting the pears brings out their natural sweetness; adding them to a salad with walnut crusted baked goat cheese gives you a salad with crunchy, sweet, and creamy in every bite.  Enjoy and happy September,everyone!

Sprinkle raw sugar over the cut pears

Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes

Pear Chardonnay Vinaigrette---use vegetable oil rather than olive oil which can overpower this salad

French Goat cheese, fresh tarragon and Italian parsley

Basil and Tarragon in the garden

Marinate the goat cheese in the herbs with olive oil, salt and pepper

Coat the goat cheese in chopped walnuts

Bake @ 350 for 10 minutes

Baby Romaine, roasted pears, baked walnut crusted goat cheese on baby romaine with Pear Chardonnay Vinaigrette

Roasted Pear, Baked Walnut Crusted Goat cheese salad with Pear Chardonnay Vinaigrette

Serves 6
Roasted Red Pears

4 medium firm red pears, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/3 cup raw sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. 
  2. Lay the pears on the baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle evenly with the sugar. 
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pears are golden brown.
  4. Cool for 20 minutes, and remove from the baking sheet.  Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Pear Chardonnay Vinaigrette
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Pear Chardonnay Vinegar (B.R. Cohn brand--if not available 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 2 tablespoons pear nectar)
2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the ingredients together, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

Walnut crusted Goat Cheese

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, tarragon, thyme, parsley, chives)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 11-ounce log coat cheese cut into 3/4-inch rounds
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Combine the olive oil and herbs, stir in the salt and pepper, and turn the goat cheese in the mixture.  Refrigerate the goat cheese for at least 4 hours. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Lay the walnuts onto a plate, and dip the cheese into the walnuts, pressing the nuts into the cheese. 
  4. Lay the cheese on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking liner, aluminum foil, or parchment and bake for 10 minutes until the walnuts are toasted (fragrant and beginning to turn golden) 
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes, before remove from the baking sheet with a thin flexible spatula.  

4 heads baby romaine lettuce, or 2 heads Bibb lettuce, washed and spun dry, and town into bite sized pieces

  • Toss the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette. 
  • Arrange the lettuce onto salad plates. 
  • Strew some of the pears on the salad, and arrange two rounds of goat cheese on each salad and serve. 

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