This all began for me in the produce section. I turned the corner to grab a bunch of pears when I spotted these cute little tiny Forelles! I couldn’t resist. When the checkout girl asked me if they were good, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “I have no idea. I just bought them because they are adorable.” That pretty much sums up how I shop!
Forelle pears are small, creamy and very sweet. They are best eaten raw and because of their size, perfect for a salad. They are in peak season right now. Buy them when they are firm and greenish. Leave them out on your counter for a few days and they will become a bit golden with flecks of red. Eat them while they still have some firmness to them. Once they get soft (if they give to gentle pressure) they become a bit too mushy for my taste.
You’ve seen this pairing a lot. Pear, blue cheese, walnuts and cranberries. Not the most original salad I’ve ever made, but once I read that Forelles have an undertone of cinnamon, I knew what I wanted to do with the dressing. The dressing is made with a bit of pure, sweet maple syrup. It’s pretty spectacular. The maple compliments the pears so well and gives the dressing a richness without being overpoweringly sweet.
So, I may have terrible shopping skills, but sometimes, like this…it pays off.
Forelle Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
8 cups mixed baby greens
4 – 5 Forelle pears, cut into eighths and cored
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup walnuts, coarsly chopped and toasted
1 cup dried cranberries (substitute dried cherries if you like)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
On four large dinner plates, divide the salad ingredients in the order listed.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing.
Pour some over each salad and serve.
Serves 4 large dinner size salads