Pear & Port Reduction Dressing for Barbara
  Re: (...)
Barbara, I posted the reduction method in another thread, but thought you might like to see the original recipe using a less reduction in a salad dressing - this make a wonderful salad. I've added all the notes I've made along the way also - good 'uses' ideas.

Note: the amount of walnuts is way too much for 4 salads, but I love having these on hand and they freeze beautifully - if they are not nibbled to extinction...

* Exported from MasterCook *


1 1/2 lbs walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 C water
2 c granulated sugar
Couple (or 3 or 4) shakes Tabasco or cayenne pepper
1 750-ml bottle ruby Port
1/2 c sugar
5 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 firm but ripe Anjou pears, peeled
2 T. chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c Champagne Vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 c olive oil
4 ozs Maytag blue cheese, crumbled (~1 cup) Feta is good with this salad also.
2 (5 oz. each) pkgs. baby spinach leaves or mix 1/2 & 1/2 with a spring mix or whatever salad greens preferred

Bring water & sugar to a boil to dissolve sugar
Add nuts & stir or let sit 1-2 min. & put on a sheet pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. (Use a sheet large enough for just one layer of nuts)
Bake at 350° for 10-15 min, stirring every 5 min., being careful not to burn. (Bake just till dry)

Bring Port, sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring till sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat to med. low. Add pears; cover & simmer till tender when pierced with knife, turning pears every 5 min., ~20 min.
Remove pan from heat. Let cool uncovered 20 min., turning pears once.
Refrigerate pan uncovered till pears are chilled, turning every 1/2 hour, about 1 1/2 hours.
(can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Remove pears from the poaching liquid; reserve liquid. Cut pears lengthwise into halves and core.
Cut lengthwise in 1/4" slices; set aside.

Boil 1/2 cup pear poaching liquid, shallots, & garlic in small saucepan over med. high heat till reduced to 1/4 cup, ~3 min.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl & cool to room temp.
Whisk in vinegar & mustard. Gradually whisk in olive oil Season dressing to taste w/salt & pepper.

Arrange pear slices around edges of 4 plates. Sprinkle crumbled cheese between pear slices.
Toss spinach and 1/2 cup dressing in large bowl to coat; mound in center of plates. Top with spiced nuts.
Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

Alternative plating for a crowd: Mound dressed greens on salad plate, fan the pear slices over greens, sprinkle w/crumbled cheese and nuts.

REDUCED PORT SAUCE: (This step added for a couple of customers wanting the recipe.)
Bring the remaining poaching liquid to a boil in a med. sized saucepan over med. heat. Let reduce by 1/2 or 1/3 - stay close, once the reduction starts, it goes quickly. When it has reduced to the amount you want, remove from heat and let cool. This sauce is wonderful drizzled over the above salad, ice cream, fruit or cheese platters, just experiment with it and be sure to let me know new ideas!!!

This sauce will thicken up as it cools, so it may take a couple times to get the correct hot consistency. Good Luck!

misc. notes:
hi jean (this is from StillSearching)

further to our discussions re: pinot pears.. our pastry chef today decided to serve them (for a wedding) with a quinoa crisp.. similar to a brandy snap. have you used/heard of quinoa before?

apparently is a grain of some type.. irrespective, it was so very good.

hope your day goes well, friend.


Subject: Re: oh gosh (my response to Dan)

have you used/heard of quinoa before? - Yes, I love it and always have it on hand.

a quinoa crisp.. similar to a brandy snap. - I've made brandy snaps, but a quinoa one??? Who'd a thunk it except you and your Chef. That would be fun to play with.

So, how did you plate this? Pear in a snap? any sauce? Wouldn't the pear stuffed with a cheese (blue?) mixture and drizzled with the port reduction be yummy!!

I'm drooling here -

From: stillsearching

I'm beginning to drool with you Jean!

we served pear centre plate with a dot of fondue sauce under it to keep her steady - the sauce was just visible. A droooooolish quenelle of vanilla yoghurt sat next to the pear and a shard of quinoa crisp gave it some height.

I didn't get pics, but I'm going to do it for my mum's birthday coming up, so I'll get some then! it was worth the experimenting in the end.

Right, off to work for me!!!

"This salad is an adaptation of a salad served at the restaurant Fish in Charleston, So. Carolina"
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Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Pear & Port Reduction Dressing for Barbara by cjs (Barbara, I posted th...)
Wow!! Thanks Jean!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then find someone whose life has given them vodka.

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