"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This recipe is the marriage of two by Ina Garten. I've always loved blue cheese, but the Mister has just in recent months developed a taste for it, freeing me to try things I've passed over for years. For the previous 23 years he would only tolerate it if it hitched a ride on a buffalo wing.
These pears present so beautifully as a salad. For a light luncheon, it would be as lovely as healthful. I don't think I'd go through the trouble for an ordinary or weeknight meal though. It would be easier just to toss a salad with chopped pear, cranberries nuts and blue cheese, but it gets aces for presentation and I would definitely recommend it as a company dish.
Baked Stuffed Poached Pears with Gorgonzola, Dried Cranberries and Pecans
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten
2 pears, either Bosc or Anjou
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cups white or port wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 whole star anise (optional)
1 lemon peel
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted pecans
1/2 cup poaching liquid
1/4 cup walnut or canola oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast your pecans lightly at this time. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
Peel pears, coring seed area and leaving stems intact and slicing rounded "bottom" off so they won't roll around in the baking dish. Place in a shallow baking dish just big enough to hold them.
Pour lemon juice all over the pears and coat all sides. In a small bowl, mix cheese, berries and nuts. Stuff each of the 4 pear halves using all of this mixture. In a small bowl, stir together the wine, sugar, star anise and lemon peel. Pour this mixture over the pears. Bake for 30 minutes. Spoon or baste some of the poaching juices over the pears once during baking.
Remove from oven. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Divide head of lettuce equally between 4 plates. Place one stuffed pear on each and drizzle vinaigrette over. Serve immediately.