Friday, August 1, 2008

Arugula Salad with Fresh Pears, from Wendy Pfrenger

From Bistro Cooking at Home (by Gordon Hammsersley who has a bistro in Boston):

Arugula Salad with Fresh Pears, Gorgonzola, and Bacon
(6 servings)

3 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh pears (or 12 fresh figs if you can find them)
6 oz. Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 large bunch arugula, stems removed (about 6 c.)
1 m. red onion, very thinly sliced

Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain.

In a small bowl combine vinegar, mustard, and shallot, and season with salt and
pepper to taste. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until it's all incorporated
and an emulsion forms.

Heat broiler.

Cut pears in half lengthwise. Core them. Melt unsalted butter in a skillet and
brown the cut side of hte pears. Turn the pears cut side up, sprinkle with salt and
pepper, and bake in a 350 degree oven until tender when pierced with a knife (time
will vary depending on ripeness and type of pear). When tender, place blue cheese
in the holes left from coring and broil until the cheese begins to melt.

Toss arugula and onion together in a bowl. Add just enough dressing to coat
lightly, reserving at least a tablespoon of the dressing. Divide the greens among
six plates. Place pears on the greens and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Top
each salad with a piece of bacon and serve immediately.

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