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Poached Pear Salad

Poached Pear Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Poach pears: Combine all ingredients for the poaching liquid in a medium-sized pot. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Peel pears, leaving the stem intact, then immediately drop into the pot of simmering poaching liquid. Cover with a coffee filter or square of cheesecloth. Place cover on pot and poach for 15 minutes then remove from heat, leaving pears to cool for at least 8 hours.
  2. Prepare vinaigrette: Place oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon and maple syrup into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine until oil is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare salad: Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and spin to remove excess water. Transfer to a medium-sized salad bowl. Drizzle with about 4 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss. Transfer portions of salad to one large serving platter or individual salad plates. Sprinkle the greens with walnuts.
  4. Remove pears from poaching liquid, cut in half and scoop out cores using a melon baller or small spoon. Assemble them attractively on the serving platter, or put two halves on each salad plate. Add a chunk of cheese into the round cored area of each pear. Add a sprinkle of sea salt flakes. 
  5. Serve immediately with extra vinaigrette on the side.
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Poached Pear Salad

4 / 5. 4

Bosc pears poached in a spiced red wine and served on a bed of greens dressed with a tangy vinaigrette…

  • clock icon
    40 MIN
  • 4-8 SERVINGS
Poached Pear Salad.

You better believe this POACHED PEAR SALAD tastes is as good as it looks!

Crisp, fresh greens, flavourful fruit, a tangy vinaigrette and a sprinkle of nuts; this absolutely delicious salad recipe has it all. But in a final moment of inspiration, we also added a superior blue cheese, and the flavours went from deliciously simple to amazing. Read on to discover why this POACHED PEAR SALAD will be the best you’ve ever had.

Before listing a few key considerations, it’s important we point out the versatility of this recipe. Hosting a fancy, sit-down dinner party? Serve this pear salad as the appetizer or first course. Need a solid salad idea for a buffet or family-style meal with a large number of guests? Assemble this salad on a large platter and you’re done. We love it when recipes check off all the boxes.

Here’s how to make our spicy POACHED PEAR SALAD:

Four perfectly ripened Bosc pears.

BOSC PEARS

Unlike other posts, we’re going to change this one up a bit. Instead of starting with a photo of all the ingredients needed to craft this salad recipe, we’re going to start with the various components. First, the stars of the show, fresh pears. We used Bosc pears which have a more firm, dense flesh than other varieties, making them ideal for baking, broiling, or in this case, poaching. Click HERE to learn more about them. If you can’t find Bosc, try the recipe with Anjou or Bartlett.

The Bosc pears, peeled.

Prepping the pears for the recipe is easy – simply peel away the skin. Okay, is it really that easy? Perhaps a little more information, Nik? Sure, but there’s not much to add. We suggest leaving the stems on, which is a nice detail to enhance the presentation and leave the peeling to just before you begin poaching. Peeling them too early will cause them to brown.

Bowls containing fennel seeds, black peppercorns, coriander, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cardamom.

SPICES

One of the hallmarks of this recipe is the heightened flavours of the pears after they’ve been poached. We accomplished this by gathering a bouquet of fragrant, flavourful spices, including cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds, coriander and black peppercorns. Other spices that also work in this recipe include allspice, cumin, mustard seed and cassia seeds. Feel free to add your favourites.

All of the ingredients needed to poach pears.

POACHING LIQUID

During the testing of this recipe, we determined the poaching liquid needed some sweetness, acidity and colour. Although some poached fruit recipes call for apple cider, we opted for a combination of red wine, apple cider vinegar, water, granulated sugar and lemon juice. These poaching ingredients give the pears colour, sweetness and a bit of a bite while brightening the flavour of the spices.

A large pot filled with poaching liquid containing four Bosc pears, poaching.

POACHED PEARS

Who knew poaching pears could be so easy? For best results, pour all of the ingredients needed for the poaching liquid into a big pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar, bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer. After that, we add the pears.

The poached pears fresh out of the pot.

Here’s the first of two tips. After adding the pears, place a coffee filter or square of cheesecloth over the surface of the liquid. It will saturate and act as a weight covering the floating pears. This ensures the colour of the pears stays even; no pale, exposed bits.

The poached pears cooling off in a large pot. Next to them is the salad vinaigrette.

The second tip is to poach the pears for just 20 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool. We found that pears left to cool in a chilled spot overnight, between 8 to 12 hours, absorb more of the sweet, spicy flavours. 

A small measure containing the maple-Dijon vinaigrette.

MAPLE-MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

We whisked up a simple vinaigrette often associated with an “insalata mista”, a tossed green salad served in hip restos. Make sure to whisk it together thoroughly so the oil and vinegar emulsify. Beyond that, tell your taste buds to get ready. This light, tangy salad dressing pops with the added flavours of maple syrup and Dijon mustard. We know you’ll agree, it’s quite perfect.

A wedge of Saint Agur blue cheese and a bowl of chopped walnuts.

SAINT AGUR CHEESE AND WALNUTS

Two extra special additions to the ingredient line-up for this salad are cheese and nuts. The combination of cheese, fruit and nuts is famous for good reason. It was top of mind when we assembled our fabulous CHARCUTERIE BOARD and made our BAKED BRIE EN CROÛTE. In this case, we added a very rich, fragrant and flavourful SAINT AGUR, a double cream blue cheese, and freshly cracked walnuts with their buttery flavour.

Everything needed to make this perfect poached pear salad.

POACHED PEAR SALAD

Finally, check out the above photo of the various components that comprise our pear salad. For best flavours, look for locally grown pears and organic greens like frisée, Boston lettuce, curly leaf lettuce and even romaine – organic always tastes better. Then just follow our step-by-step instructions listed below. Something incredibly tasty awaits!

Poached Pear Salad.

SERVE

There are a couple of options to serve, as mentioned at the top. Present on individual plates if you’re making this as a first course for a dinner party. Another option is to assemble all the greens and pears on one large serving platter to place out on a dinner buffet or for family-style meals where the various dishes are passed around the table.

The poached pear salad presented on a large platter.

Please remember to PIN this recipe on a favourite Pinterest salad or vegetarian recipe board. We’d also love it if you’d SHARE this post with friends. We appreciate seeing pics whenever you make our recipes, so use #weekendatthecottage when you post your photos on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for sharing with the world!

Enjoy this POACHED PEAR SALAD. Bon appétit!

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Poached Pear Salad

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Poached Pear Salad

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 4 Bosc pears
  • 2 heads of lettuce - frisée, Boston, curly leaf, red leaf or romaine
  • 4 ounces creamy blue cheese - Saint Agur
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Poaching liquid:
  • 1 bottle red wine (750 ml)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 8 cardamom pods, smashed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3-4 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Vinaigrette:
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Poach pears: Combine all ingredients for the poaching liquid in a medium-sized pot. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Peel pears, leaving the stem intact, then immediately drop into the pot of simmering poaching liquid. Cover with a coffee filter or square of cheesecloth. Place cover on pot and poach for 15 minutes then remove from heat, leaving pears to cool for at least 8 hours.
  2. Prepare vinaigrette: Place oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon and maple syrup into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine until oil is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare salad: Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and spin to remove excess water. Transfer to a medium-sized salad bowl. Drizzle with about 4 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss. Transfer portions of salad to one large serving platter or individual salad plates. Sprinkle the greens with walnuts.
  4. Remove pears from poaching liquid, cut in half and scoop out cores using a melon baller or small spoon. Assemble them attractively on the serving platter, or put two halves on each salad plate. Add a chunk of cheese into the round cored area of each pear. Add a sprinkle of sea salt flakes. 
  5. Serve immediately with extra vinaigrette on the side.

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