Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poached Pear Salad

Poached Pear Salad with Honey Sherry Vinagrette
This salad is simple, beautiful, and delicious--perfect for entertaining! We served this as the second course of our 5-course holiday dinner, and it was a huge success. We even veganized it by substituting Blue-Style Sheese for bleu cheese. The presentation is pretty, and the dressing is light and refreshing!

My friend's mom got the recipe from some caterers, so it makes for a pretty large salad :) Obviously, you can scale up or down according to your needs. In addition to veganizing the recipe, we did a few other substitutions and modifications as well, which I've listed in my notes below.

Poached Pear Salad
24oz California field greens
96pc sun dried cherries
96pc toasted walnuts
6 whole poached pears 1/2 fanned
12oz crumbled amish blue cheese
12pc edible flowers
honey sherry vinaigrette (see below)

Honey Sherry Vinaigrette
1/4 cup sherry vinegar (have also used champagne citrus and white balsamic raspberry vinegars)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper to taste

Instead of counting out 96 cherries, we just used a 5 oz bag. It didn't seem like a lot, so we probably could have used more. We also didn't count out the walnuts; we probably used 8oz or so, which was perfect.

Rather than poaching the pears, we just sliced them into fans, and served 1/4 of a pear per person. It turned out pretty good--I thought the fresh pears made it very refreshing and light!

As I mentioned before, we substituted the Amish bleu cheese with vegan Bleu Sheese (we used a 4oz box). We served the sheese separately so people could choose how much to add to their own salad; however, we did toss the salad with the vinaigrette (also pictured below) just before serving.

We used 2 boxes of edible flowers, which is about double what the recipe calls for. I thought it looked perfect that way!

We couldn't find sherry vinegar, so we used a citrus champagne vinegar instead. It turned out really delicious.

My friend's mom had pomegranate molasses in stock, so we didn't have to buy it. Apparently it's hard to find, though. She said the best bet would have been to go to a Middle Eastern grocery store.

The vinaigrette can be prepared beforehand. We made ours the night before.
Toss the cherries, flowers, and walnuts (and cheese, if desired) together before tossing with the greens & dressing.

Serve, and enjoy!


krippilicious said...

Looks beautiful.

• Where do you get edible flowers?
• What did you think of the Sheese?

River said...

We got the edible flowers from Whole Foods. They were in the produce section.

I like Sheese a lot! I thought this particular one tasted pretty similar to the real thing, but I don't really like bleu cheese that much in the first place (so I guess it was true to form!) I much prefer all the other flavors I've had. . . It's definitely worth trying out :)