Friday, July 18, 2008

a "pear" of recipes for you

Today's food for thought friday includes two yummy, summery pear-infused recipes. I love! Happy July 18th!

Roquefort Pear Salad
1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 pears - peeled, cored and chopped
5 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c pecans
1/3 c olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.

For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. (I prefer to do this in one of those shaker bottles--super handy and less messy.)

In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.

Fresh Pear Pie
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (or make it easy and use refrigerated pie crusts)
1/2 c white sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
5 c peeled and sliced pears
1 T butter
1 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and lemon rind in mixing bowl. Arrange pears in layers in a 9-inch pastry lined pan, sprinkling sugar mixture over each layer. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Roll out remaining dough; cut slits for escape of steam. Moisten rim of bottom crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute edge.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm. (I'd add a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream for a really "cool" treat!)
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. --W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)

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