We had friends come over for dinner this past weekend, and I wanted to try a different salad. I had eaten salads in the past that had poached pears in them, and I really enjoyed them. I went to the web to find a recipe, but now I can't find out what source it came from. I changed it around quite a bit, so I'll post it as I made it. It was very good, and will be added to my list of salads I'll make in the future. The dressing is very good-a little sweet, with the bite of shallot. And the cheese and toasted pecans really add that special touch. You could use any cheese, but I used White Stilton with Lemon Peel. If you haven't tried this cheese, try it. It is wonderful, and they also make it with mango, which is also very good.
MIXED GREEN SALAD WITH POACHED PEARS AND FIG VINAIGRETTE
5 oz. mixed baby lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup White Stilton with Lemon Rind Cheese
2 whole Anjou pears, seeded, peeled, and sliced into thin wedges
2 cups dry white wine
Juice and zest from 1 lemo
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. shallots, finely minced
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp. fig jam(I used fig ginger jam)
2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Bring wine to a boil in a medium pan. Add lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add pear slices and cover pot, reducing heat to low and "poaching" for about 15 mintues - until pears are tender but not falling apart.
Meanwhile, whisk shallots, mustard, jam, and vinegar in small bowl to start vinegrette. Place pecans on a sheet pan and toast in oven for a few minutes until toasted.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and set aside in small bowl, keeping the liquid in the pot. Increase heat and boil until liquid reduces to a syrup. (This might take a little while, but once it gets close, be careful-it can easily burn.)
Add 1 Tbsp of the reduction you've just made to the vinegrette and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange lettuce on 4 plates and top with cheese, toasted pecans, and pear slices. Drizzle the vinegrette over.