This time of year we are getting tons of different produce into our farmers markets and grocery stores. I know what you are thinking: we can get basically all of these items all year round. But there are certain times of the year when fruits like apples or pears are at their best. These cooler temperatures have let these fruits develop beautifully and truly allow the fruit to shine. Pears are one of my favorite things to eat this time of year, and this is just one simple way to enjoy them.
Growing up I had a bad misconception about pears, mostly because I think my mom never knew which pears to buy at the store and when. They were either way too hard or way too soft and mealy. Now I have learned that you want to choose a pear that is slightly firm but gives a little under your thumb. This is, of course, if you need to use or eat them right away, but if you are buying them in advance, a less ripe pear would work just fine.
These delicious pears are also a good source of nutrition for your eyesight. Pears have compounds in them that help prevent macular degeneration. Studies suggest that fruit in particular has a greater ability to help maintain and remedy the health of our eyes than other proteins or even vegetables.
Roasted Pear Salad with Roquefort, Fennel, Hazelnuts and Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 3 pears, sliced and roasted
- Salad greens (I used arugula, spinach and baby kale)
- Roquefort, crumbled
- ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced very thin
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Slice pears, toast hazelnuts and prepare your salad greens.
- Roast sliced pears by lightly oiling and seasoning with salt and pepper. Roast on a tray in oven at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden and slightly soft.
- Make vinaigrette by slowly mixing vinegar, shallot, mustard and honey together, then slowly drizzle in oil. Vigorously mix until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss all ingredients together in large bowl. Dress with vinaigrette and serve immediately.