Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This salad was a hit on Christmas day.  The Bosc pear with the Goat Cheese and simple, simple lemon viniagrette, tossed lightly with mixed greens was the perfect way to start our large family gathering.

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

1 Bosc Pear, pitted, sliced thin wedges
6 oz plain goat cheese, crumbled small
1 head butter/bibb lettuce, or mixed mesclun
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
9 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I'm a huge fan of the Costco mesclun mix, which includes several delicate varieties of lettuces, and also has a really nice color and texture variation.  If you can't find that, one to two small heads of delicate lettuce varieties work well (butter and bibb lettuce are two really nice options).

Rinse and spin or blot lettuce dry.  In a large serving/salad bowl, place lettuce.  If lettuce is in larger leaves, tear into 2-3" pieces for a more rustic presentation than chopping.  These smaller varieties of lettuce often don't require chopping, however, so if you can leave it in its original state - all the better. 

At this point, season lightly with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  In a small bowl, combine fresh lemon juice with olive oil.  This should be a 1 to 3 ratio of lemon juice to olive oil.  Then add a little salt and pepper, and using a fork or small whisk, mix the dressing into an emulsion, whereby the lemon juice and olive oil are not separated but fully incorporated. 

Drizzle about 1/2 of the dressing over the lettuce, and toss lightly to incorporate.

Top salad with Bosc pear slices and crumbled goat cheese.  Serve remaining dressing on the side.  I also served extra cheese crumbles in a small ramekin so that my guests could further dress their salad.

This salad got high praises from all of the guests.  The subtle sweet of the pear against the acid of the lemon viniagrette and savory goat cheese was a really nice balance.


Upupaepops said...

for an interesting variation, slice the pears and roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes to caramelize an edge.

serve warm in the salad


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