Juicy pears are roasted with bourbon and brown sugar then combined with leafy greens, blue cheese and sweet, crunchy candied walnuts for the most memorable salad ever. Bourbon Roasted Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts is dressed with a light and tangy apple cider vinaigrette, perfect for the holiday season.
Bourbon Roasted Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Walnuts
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cooking Time: 15 min
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 Royal Riviera Pears, cut in half and cored (You can use Bosc or Bartlett pears, as well)
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 16 ounces spring mix
- 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup candied walnuts
- ¾ cup pomegranate arils
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ½ tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- ½ tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Season the cut side of the pears with salt and pepper. Place the pears in the skillet cut side down and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are browned. Sprinkle the pears with the brown sugar and add the bourbon to the pan to deglaze. Turn the pears over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the pears for about 10 minutes or until the pears are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Transfer the pears to a plate until cool enough to handle. The pears can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Cut the pears in half again (so, the whole pear is now quartered.) Place the greens in a large salad bowl. Top the greens with the pears, gorgonzola, walnuts and pomegranate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, apple cider, garlic, shallot, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil until thoroughly combined. Top the salad with ½ the dressing and serve immediately with the remaining dressing on the side.