Roasting pears takes little effort yet garners big results. Pair roasted pears with fresh greens and a warmed round of soft goat cheese that’s encrusted with crunchy chopped peanuts, and you have a salad that’s a perfect balance of texture and flavor.
Chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis, author of “Bon Appetit, Y’all” and the creator of this delectable salad, notes that “it makes for a perfect combination that can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
Recipe and photo courtesy of USA Pears.
- 1 cup very finely chopped peanuts
- 1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 firm, ripe USA Pears, such as Bosc, Concorde, or Anjou, halved lengthwise and cored
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces mesclun (mixed baby salad greens)
- 1 Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 2 Place the finely chopped peanuts in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- 3 Roll the goat cheese log in the peanuts to evenly coat. Refrigerate until firm if necessary, then cut evenly into 4 rounds.
- 4 Arrange pears, cut side down, in a baking pan. Pour butter over the pears and toss to coat. Return pears to cut side down position. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
- 5 Arrange pears cut side up in the baking dish. Place rounds of peanut-crusted goat cheese on top in the scooped center. Continue to roast 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted and soft.
- 6 Meanwhile, whisk together the shallot, mustard, and vinegar.
- 7 Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad greens with just enough dressing to coat.
- 8 Remove pears from the oven and serve each salad topped with a roasted pear topped with goat cheese.