Royal Riviera® Pears and Harry & David Chardonnay are a perfect pair. Jessica Merchant from How Sweet It Is is sharing a tasty poached pear salad recipe starring these two favorites.
What could be better than a wine-poached pear salad? Nothing! Except maybe a chilled glass of white on the side.
My love for this salad can barely be expressed! It might be my new favorite thing (not to be confused with my next new favorite thing, which I’m sure will appear in approximately 8.3 days) because all I can think about in December is cookies, fudge, cheesy dips and cookies. Did I mention cookies? I didn’t think so.
Let’s talk salad!
I poached pears in both Pinot gris and Chardonnay, and shockingly I ended up loving the Chardonnay ones better. I think it was the dry white that worked well with a savory salad and the already sweet pear.
Poaching pears is insanely simple. You heat your wine in a saucepan and once it’s simmering, add those pears and simmer until just fork-tender. The pears are absolutely wonderful on their own, and we often have them as a component to dessert. But since I’m loving on pears in every form this season, I thought they would be fantastic in a salad.
Other delicious things that can be found in this winter greens mix: dried cranberries, tangy and creamy blue cheese and spiced candied walnuts. So good! It’s a texture-lover’s dream.
Not only is the salad super flavorful, it’s so much more satisfying than you expect. Salads usually don’t fill me up, but this one just works. It’s a lovely happy hour dinner or even the most perfect lunch for yourself.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the Chardonnay, placing them in a bowl. Pour the rest of the wine in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat.
Once simmering, add the peeled whole pears to the wine. Simmer until fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Gently remove the pear and place it on a plate.
While the pears are simmering, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Toss in the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom, stirring to combine.
Cook, stirring often, until the walnuts become golden and candied, about 6 minutes. Pour the walnuts on to parchment paper and let cool completely.
To assemble the pear salad, add the greens on a large plate or in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the pears on top and slice them half way down – not all the way through. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, cranberries and candied walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve!
Whisk together the chardonnay, honey, Dijon, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Keep sealed in the fridge for up to a week.
Jessica Merchant is a full-time recipe developer and food writer who is intensely passionate about food and writing, and loves to share her food through her writing. On her blog How Sweet It Is (www.howsweeteats.com), she shares how madly, outrageously, inexplicably in love with food she is. Bacon makes her beam. Chocolate makes her shout from the rooftops with joy. Vegetables are her biggest frenemy. (Her perfect world would include none of them.)