Roasted Pear with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Likes it with: Silver Unoaked Chardonnay
When pears still have a hard texture, they are a wonderfully sweet addition to salad . I wanted to make a first course that looks festive for the holidays, so I mixed some greens, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, pears and blue cheese. What's not to like?
* 4 pears, halved, but not peeled or cored
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup crumbled good-quality blue cheese
* 1/4 cup walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange the pears, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Strip the leaves from the thyme branches and sprinkle over the pears. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon a generous teaspoon of crumbled cheese in the center of each pear half, return the pears to the oven and roast until they are tender and the cheese is soft, about 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, put the walnuts on another baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving plate and sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the top. Serve hot.