Pan-Roasted Pear Salad with Radicchio, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts For Two

Published November 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

For our pear salad recipe, we wanted a simple technique for caramelizing pears that wouldn't overcook the fruit. We cooked the quartered pears on top of the stove, which prevented the interiors from softening too much, and tossed them with sugar before cooking to encourage better browning.… read more

For our pear salad recipe, we wanted a simple technique for caramelizing pears that wouldn't overcook the fruit. We cooked the quartered pears on top of the stove, which prevented the interiors from softening too much, and tossed them with sugar before cooking to encourage better browning. Since we were already using balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette (its fruity flavor accentuates pear flavor), we tried adding a couple of extra tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the hot pan while roasting the pears. The result gave us our best pear salad recipe: The extra vinegar instantly reduced to form a glazy coating on the pears, perfectly matching the flavor of the salad.

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Serves 2

The test kitchen prefers Bartlett pears for this recipe, but Bosc pears can also be used. With either variety, the pears should be ripe but firm; check the flesh at the neck of the pear-it should give slightly when pressed gently with a finger. If using Bartletts, look for pears that are starting to turn from green to yellow. Romaine lettuce may be substituted for green leaf.

Ingredients

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