Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese

I’m on a salad kick! Who would have thought in the middle of a New England winter to boot? Well, its almost Springlike here in Boston so that might explain it…

Here’s another good one I have found, I’m loving the roasted pears and hope you do too. Make sure you get good blue cheese, nothing will ruin a dish quicker than a cheap and smelly blue.

Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese
From Confections of a Modern Bride (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)

Ingredients20120128-102840.jpg
3 ripe but firm red Anjou pears
juice of 3 lemons
3 oz coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp Port
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups of Arugula (or your favorite salad greens)
Black pepper
Salt

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375.
Peel the pears and cut in half length-wise. Use a melon baller to remove the cores and seeds. Cut a small slice away from the rounded side of each pair to keep it steady when filling and baking. Toss the pears with lemon juices and arrange them core side up in a baking dish.
Toss the blue cheese, cranberries, and walnuts together and divide among the pears. Combine apple juice, port, and brown sugar, whisking together until sugar dissolves. Drizzle over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting every 5-10 minutes with the apple-port mixture, until tender (about 40 minutes in my oven). Remove and let cool to warm or room temp.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid. Toss with the arugula and divide among 6 plates. Top each salad with a pear half, season with salt and pepper.

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