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Arugula-Poached Pear Salad, Cambazola, & Port Vinaigrette*

Serves 4

2 ripe pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett
2 C dry red wine
1/2 C good quality port
2 whole cloves
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 T raspberry vinegar
1 small shallot
1 small clove roasted garlic
1 T walnut oil
Salt to taste
4 to 6 C arugula, picked and cleaned
4 French bread or sourdough croutons, about 2 inches long
2 oz cambazola cheese
1 oz (about 3 T) walnut halves

Peel, core, and cut in half the 2 pears. In a saucepan just large enough to hold the 4 halves, bring the wine and port to a boil with the cloves and sugar.

Reduce heat to low and submerge the pears, cut side down, in the pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pears and set aside.

Pour off (or save) all but 1 C of the poaching liquid and reduce it over high heat to 2 T. Place the reduced liquid in a blender and add the 2 T raspberry vinegar, the shallot, and the garlic clove. Blend until smooth and then add the oil in a steady drizzle. Taste dressing and season with salt.

Spread the cambazola evenly on the four croutons and place in a 400° oven just long enough to melt slightly. Dress the arugula with the vinaigrette and divide between 4 plates. Serve each salad with half a poached pear, a cambazola crouton, and some walnuts.

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