We had friends dropping by for dinner on a gorgeous sunny day, and I was eager to try a new recipe I’d spotted on Fine Cooking’s website, Gorgonzola and Hazelnut Stuffed Pears with Pancetta Crisps and Mache. Most of the reviewers (5 star) had used it for a winter meal, but I thought it might work well for a hearty starter followed by a light main course. I substituted arugula for mache, as it’s more readily available. The spicy, peppery notes of the arugula provided an excellent counterpoint to the creamy richness of the gorgonzola and hazelnuts. Everyone loved it.
An elegant appetizer demanded equally elegant tableware, so I set the table with my favourite antique French blue Venetian stemware and powder blue Spode plates, both from Elise Abrams Antiques.