I was looking for an appetizer that featured the best of fresh fall ingredients, and came across this recipe in the October 2016 issue of Victoria Magazine. I was serving the pears as finger food, so dispensed with the balsamic vinegar glaze as I reasoned that it would be too messy. It was scrumptious without the glaze.
I think the deconstructed ingredients would be delicious served on a bed of arugula as a starter salad, using the pear-preparation liquid as additional dressing for the arugula. I’ll try that next time.
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 Bartlett or Comice pears
- 1 c baby arugula leaves (more if you're making it as a salad)
- 32 pecan halves
- 8 oz Stilton or other blue cheese, cut into 1/2" chunks
- 8 slices of prosciutto cut into 1" wide strips, cut lengthwise
- 32 extra-long chives, blanched*
- 1/4 c balsamic glaze (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Cut each of the pears into 8 wedges, slicing the cores from the thin edge of each wedge. Add the wedges to the bowl, tossing gently.
- Remove one pear wedge at a time from the liquid and assemble: wrap an arugula leaf around the middle of the wedge, add a chunk of blue cheese and a pecan and press down slightly. Wrap with a prosciutto strip and tie with a blanched chive. It's a bit finicky, but not as bad as you're probably imagining.
- Serve, drizzled with balsamic glaze and garnished with additional blue cheese, pecans and celery leaves, if desired.
- * to blanch the chives, zap them in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or until tender enough to use as ties