here's a quick salad that you can throw together to impress dinner guests that is much more sophisticated tasting than it is difficult to make. the combination of sweet pears and maple syrup is offset by salty gorgonzola cheese and smokey bacon - yum! try it with different combinations of cheese, nuts and firm fruit for an ever changing fall starter. is anyone else getting excited for Thanksgiving next week? we have friends coming from santa barbara and boston and can't wait to start cooking - it's definitely the best food holiday of the year.
Fall Pear Salad
2 ripe firm pears, such as bosc or anjou
1 green onion, sliced
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs hazelnut oil
approx. 1/4 cup olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper
core pear with an apple corer, trying to keep pear whole. slice into 1/8-inch thick rounds and combine in a bowl with green onion, bacon, cheese and hazelnuts. in a small bowl, combine lemon juice, maple syrup and hazelnut oil. slowly whisk in olive oil, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. toss salad with dressing, plate and garnish with pepper. enjoy!