Saturday, November 6, 2010

Carmelized Pear Salad

If you are anything like me, you have trouble mustering up much enthusiasm for fall and winter vegetables aside from mashed potatoes, which are manna from Heaven but not so very healthy for you. So I was pleased as punch to manage to create a fall salad that got raves both times I made it. I'm raving about it too because it is easier than dirt to make, a criteria that is high on my list for outstanding recipes. I made a carmelized pear salad and it was phenomenal.


firm pears
gorgonzola cheese
dried cranberries
peppery salad greens
vinaigrette dressing

Assembly ala K.:

Tear open bags of peppery autumnal greens. Dump into bowl. Dump container of crumbled gorgonzola cheese on top of greens. Tear open bag of dried cranberries and dump contents onto cheese. Cover cranberries with 2 small bags of walnut pieces (roughly 1 cup). Set aside to work on pears. Peel and core pears. Melt 1 c. sugar and 1/2 c. water together over high heat on the stove. Use this much water so that you can leave the whole boiling mess unattended while you take a shower since you haven't had time yet today. Come out in time to keep sugar from burning and toss in pears. Wander off to check e-mail. Come back periodically to poke at sugary fruit. Get absorbed in e-mail until you remember pears again and go flying into the kitchen to discover that 1/4 of pears are charred and gluey in the skillet's hot spot. Scrape those into trash. Cool salvaged pears and dump on top of salad. Serve with homemade vinaigrette on the side. (Yes, I'm not kidding about the homemade; I can be an overachiever on occasion too.) The pears, if too ripe, take on the appearance of toasted slugs but they will still be tasty. It is, however, always better to avoid the toasted slug look so stick with very firm or unripe pears. Your guests will thank you.

Assembley ala some unknown overachiever:

Tear peppery autumnal greens into bite sized pieces and dump into large bowl. Crumble block over gorgonzola over greens. Scatter dried cranberries and walnuts over cheese. Cover cranberries with 2 small bags of walnut pieces (roughly 1 cup). Toss salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing. Set aside. Peel and core pears. Melt sugar and water in a skillet, stirring constantly. When the sugar is nice and brown, add in pears. Let pears brown and carmelize. Remove from heat and cool completely. Top salad mixture with pears and serve.

Either way you assemble it, enjoy!

This post was written as a part of Beth Fish Read's Weekend Cooking meme in which I contribute very sporadically. Feel free to join in or just to surf through other folks' contributions.


  1. Sounds yummy...well except for the toasted slug visual :-D

  2. Oh YUM... I want this RIGHT NOW.

    Love your directions. That's definitely my style, absolutely.

  3. I think I'll just eat the carmelized pears and skip the green stuff. No - just kidding. It does sound like a yummy mix of ingredients.

  4. Except for the toasted creepy crawlie, it sounds delicious!

  5. Oh, this sounds delicious!! I'm going to try it...

  6. This sounds like a great winter salad. Yummmm.

  7. Hmmmmm . . . that first method sounds like the one I would follow, so I might just skip the pears altogether. :) I really don't care for fruit in my food anyway.

    Rose City Reader

  8. That sounds a delicious salad Kristen. It's spring here of course, but not all that warm, so it still sounds appealing, although I can't get much in the way of pears. You wouldn't have to cool them completely either. I like having some warm elements in a salad in the cooler weather. And besides, who is so organised that you make it with enough time to have it cool completely?


I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts