Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gorgonzola Pear Salad With Roasted Hazelnus

Gorgonzola dolce is a younger, milder and sweeter variety of the traditional aged Gorngonzola blue cheese produced in Italy.  It is aged for a shorter amount of time while the naturale is allowed to age for six months or more resulting in a strong sharp flavor and aroma.

It is an excellent cheese to serve as an appetizer, as a dessert cheese served with fruit, as a flavoring in salads and pasta dishes, or as stuffing for chicken, veal or tube pasta. This cheese may also be referred to by a brand name of Dolcelatte.

If you cannot find the dolce, substitute a Danish blue cheese such as Saga Bleu.

Serves 4


1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. mild honey, such as clover
2 medium firm-ripe red pears (preferably red Anjou), halved lengthwise and cored
Kosher salt
8 thin slices pancetta (about 2-1/2 oz.)
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 oz. Gorgonzola dolce (1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. mâche (about 4 cups)

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and 1 tsp. of the honey. Brush the mixture over the cut sides of the pears and season with salt. Arrange the pears cut sides up on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the upper rack until just tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the pancetta on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the lower rack until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the hazelnuts, the Gorgonzola dolce, thyme, and the remaining 1 tsp. honey with the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove the pears from the oven and divide the cheese filling evenly among the pear cavities. Sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts and bake on the upper rack until the cheese starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Turn the broiler on high and broil until the nuts brown slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil. Toss the mâche with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and divide among 4 plates. Top each salad with 2 pancetta rounds and 1 pear half. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 108 , pp. 63
October 28, 2010

1 comment:

  1. That looks SO good, and its so pretty!! Need to remember this for next time I have my friends over for someones birthday lunch.



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