This Butter Lettuce and Poached Pear Salad is one of our favorite Adventures In The Kitchen cooking school recipes. I discovered this delicious salad at Citrus City Grille, in Old Towne Orange, here in California. It features a red wine poached pear, candied nuts, and a Balsamic Vinaigrette.
You know me when I find a dish that I love, I try and recreate it for you. Often this salad is my meal when we were able to go and sit at the bar on Sunday evenings, the start of my weekend.
Now that I am cooking three meals a day, a salad is often one of my meals. It is light and can quickly be assembled. The beauty of poaching is that you can go ahead and store in the refrigerator.
How to Poach Pears
Poaching pears are easy. You can use simple water and sugar to poach but wine makes them so much better. In a saucepan that will hold the pears standing up add the wine, sugar, orange peel, juice of an orange, cinnamon, and cloves. Sometimes I throw in a star anise pod. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer. Place the peeled pears in the pan and cook over low for 20-25 minutes.
What Is Poaching?
Poaching is a cooking technique that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock, or wine or in a tray. Poaching cooks the food slowly at relatively low temperatures.
Best Pears to Poach
The pears should be firm. Here are the best pears to poach:
Bosc pears are the best
The base of the salad is butter lettuce, is delicate and tender. It is great for everyday salads but it also makes a great base for chicken wraps.
Start your meal with this beautiful salad. Poach a pear in red wine and sit on a bed butter lettuce with nuts and pomegranate seeds.
2cups dry red wine, such as cabernet or merlot
1 long strip orange peel, 1 by 4-inch
1 large orange, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
3 firm, ripe Bosc pears
1/3cup good balsamic vinegar
1/2cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1cup pecan halves and pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon stick and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
While poaching liquid is simmering, peel pears, leaving the stem intact and being careful not to bruise the pears. Slice a small amount from the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom if necessary so the pears stand upright.
Gently place the pears in the poaching liquid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes (depending upon size), turning every 5 minutes with a slotted spoon to ensure even color. Pears should be cooked but still firm. Cool at room temperature, turning occasionally to ensure even color.
Let cool and slice.
Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Adjust with honey, salt and pepper as desired. Set aside
Heat the butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and the sugar and cook, stirring often until the pecans begin to brown slightly. (They can burn very quickly!) Transfer to a plate spread out slightly (it’s okay if they’re touching) and let cool.
Today I am sharing a Baked Chocolate Peppermint Donut that is a fun way to start your holiday baking. Baked donuts are a fabulous alternative to store-bought ones. They are lower in calories but still big in flavor! Betty Crocker’s new line of Hershey’s products make it easy to have these in the oven in…
This week my friend Chef Louise Mellor of Geez Louise joins us to talk. We will be sharing ideas and recipes for cooking nightly meals and how to raise children with traditional values in a non traditional world. Chef Louise Mellor has been making everyday more…
With barbecue season upon us I thought I would share my five favorite recipes for grilled chicken. If you prepare the sauce and salsa the night before you can come home and throw these on the grill for a quick family meal. Grill some of your favorite veggies to accompany the chicken. 1. Hoisin BBQ…
After making so many sweet bakery treats I was ready for something different. Inspired by this photo of Salt Roasted Pears on marthastewart.com I decided to try it out. This was simply divine. The pears were soft but very moist and the combination of caramel with a touch of salt was perfect. My mom, who…
In the midst of the Christmas craze I was craving a home cooked meal. Between work, Christmas programs and festivities I hit a wall and decided to hole up at home. I had noticed a chicken dish by Emeril on Good Morning America the week before and for once had everything I needed. This dish…
Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I wanted to share a few ideas that you can do today for both quick but treasured gifts and a make ahead brunch. As a contributor for Coupons.com I am sharing ideas for affordable parties and DIY crafts. I love it. Coupons.com has so many great ways to save. I…