This salad is another example of simple ingredients yielding outstanding 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 T. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T. really good extra virgin olive oil
To serve: sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, if desired
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.