Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Oh, Pears!


Around this time of year I start to go completely bonkers for pears, and the madness doesn't leave me till fall. To be economical, I usually just buy them by the bagful, and come up with ways to use them during the week. Here are my two favorite lunchy-things, but I've also been known to eat pear-marscapone pasta for dinner, pear french toast for breakfast, and many other pear themed treats. Assuming no one else is quite as pear-crazy as me, I'll leave those for another time...

Pear, pecan, goat cheese salad
You Need:
-A pear (ha) -some nice goat cheese (or gorgonzola would work if you hate goat, parmesan if you are preggers)
-raw pecans - mixed greens or baby green salad mix - balsamic vinager, EVOO, pepper.

This particular salad is a combo of a couple different ones I've had at fancy restaurants. Nothing beats pears with balsamic.
FIRST, Make your dressing. People have written books on how to make a vinagrette, but this is the cheaters way. Get your bowl and pour a decent puddle of balsamic in there (like a jar lid size.) Grind some pepper in there, and salt (if you're one of those), and squeeze a tsp or so of honey. (You could also throw in a tiny dollop of spicy mustard if you wish.) Now, whisk that all together with a stream of EVOO. How much? That is a testing thing. Do a little, test it on a piece of lettuce, then add a little more. Once it tastes tart but but not bracing you are all set.
SECOND, That was the hard part. Now throw in some baby greens, and let it soak it up while you cut up a ripe pear into thin slices. Throw the pear in there, a handful of pecans, a tbs of goat cheese (or more if you are a fiend like me), some crutons, toss it all together, and go forage! I honestly prefer this simple combination to a bowl of ice cream.

*Spicy Pecans-To impress the in-laws, spicy pecans add an amazing kick to this combo. Preheat the oven to 375 and get out a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, toss as many pecans as you can with this combo (eyeball it, you want them to be barely coated): butter or margerine, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper. Spread the barely coated pecanson the cookie sheet and cook for about 15 minutes on each side, taking care not to burn them. Let them cool and use them in the above salad, an eat any leftovers as a delicious snack with beer.

Best Grilled Cheese EVER
So easy, and so delish. Get yourself some:
-yummy whole grain bread -pears (yup) -gorgonzola
-butter or margerine -honey

FIRST- Preheat a pan to medium. Slice up your pears big and thing. Butter one side of the bread, and slather some honey on one piece. Next, put some crumbled gorgonzola on there, and lay the pears on top. Cook on the first side for maybe 4 minutes, then flip and smoosh it down, cooking for 1-2 minutes. This sandwich goes quite well with General Hospital and gnger ale.

NOTE I do not recommend eating the salad and grilled cheese together- thats a little much.

1 comment:

Ms. P said...

Ooh, those sound so good--if only I liked pears! There's something about the texture that puts me off. I may have to try that sandwich though, it sounds too, too good. And Clint would be over the moon for that salad, may have to make some...