This salad is another example of simple ingredients yielding dramatic results. When you combine the peppery taste of fresh arugula with the distinctive, but smooth taste of a creamy blue cheese and the inherent sweetness of roasted pears, you don’t need much else. Add a drizzle of rich balsamic glaze right before serving for truly outstanding results.
- 4 cups arugula, washed and dried
- 4 oz. creamy blue cheese, like Saint Agur French Triple Cream, divided into small chunks
- 2 ripe red or green pears, cored and cut into equal-size wedges
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. really good extra virgin olive oil (see note)
- Extra sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to serve (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Arrange pear slices on sheet, leaving space in between to prevent overcrowding. Lightly brush each pear slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each pear slice. Return to oven and continue roasting until evenly browned and soft, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on them the first time you make them as oven roasting times will vary).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue stirring until liquid is reduced to 1/3 of its original volume. Liquid will become thick and syrupy when it is ready.
- To serve, divide arugula, roasted pear slices and blue cheese between 4 plates. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately with fresh-cracked black pepper and sea salt, if desired.
- Serves 4
Not all olive oils are genuine. A recent study of 124 olive oils by a California university found that over 70% were fake – adulterated with cheaper oil such as canola, sunflower or peanut. We recommend one that passed with flying colors: California Olive Ranch Olive Oil. It is sustainably grown in California and has been recommended by Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping and the New York Times Food and Wine.