Food & Drink

October 23, 2013

Fall pear salad transformed into gooey grilled cheese

Fall makes me think of pears, and pears make me think of that oft-seen salad in which the fruit is paired with walnuts and chunks of blue cheese over lettuce.

Fall makes me think of pears, and pears make me think of that oft-seen salad in which the fruit is paired with walnuts and chunks of blue cheese over lettuce.

It’s popular in restaurants for a reason. The sweet and juicy pears play off the salty rich cheese, while the walnuts add texture and their nutty rich flavor.

The combination seemed ripe for tinkering. What if I used radicchio instead of the typical mixed greens. And could the blue cheese be melted on croutons? And – that kind of musing led nowhere. It was merely the same salad with a few swap-outs. But wait? What if the pears and cheese go into a grilled sandwich? And use Asian pears, for their crisp flesh and floral notes. Now I was interested, and it led to this.

Tips: If you cannot find pepper jelly, experiment with another preserve for a bit of sweetness (apricot? fig?) or giardiniera for heat. Or both. If the radicchio makes the slaw too bitter, add a little honey or fresh orange juice to the dressing.

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