They say October is the hottest month of the year in the Caribbean. Believe me, it is true.
It feels like an oven outside. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do any good to get into the water, because it is just as warm as well. And the fact that the island is empty due to it still being the hurricane season, we are stuck at home, where the air condition is working full time. Thankfully, in just 2 weeks hotels and restaurants will open back up, and life will get a little more exciting for us.
In the mean time, I am still editing our vacation pictures and trying new recipes everyday. Even though it doesn’t feel like autumn on Virgin Gorda, the supermarkets on the island carry my favorite ingredients of the season: apples, pears, pumpkin, and butternut squash. So in the next couple of weeks, many recipes with these fall ingredients are coming to your way… Stay tuned.
I made this Roasted Pear Salad right before we left for our vacation. This was the first time I roasted pears, and I was pleasantly surprised how delicious they turned out. To add an extra layer of flavor, I made a filling mixture with walnuts, cranberries, and Gorgonzola cheese, and placed it in the middle of each pear half. After they were roasted, I put them on a bed of greens mixed with a cup of red quinoa to make it more of a luxurious salad for lunch.
I hope you’ll agree.
Roasted Pear Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
For the salad:
- 3 ripe Anju pears halved, seeds removed with a melon baller, and a small slice trimmed off the bottom of each pear half so it will stand upright
- 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
- 5-6 cups of salad greens rinsed
- 1-2 grapefruit sliced
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- 3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the pears with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
- Place pears in an ovenproof casserole dish (I used an 8X8 Pyrex) lined with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, gently stir together the Gorgonzola cheese, cranberries, and walnuts.
- Equally divide the cheese filling in between the pears making sure that each indentation is filled with the filling.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the pears and place it in the oven.
- Roast them for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Once they are roasted allow them to cool for 15 minutes on the kitchen counter.
- To assemble: Gently stir together the quinoa and salad greens in a salad bowl. Place the mixture on a flat, oval salad plate.
- Transfer the pear halves onto the salad mixture. Garnish it with grapefruit slices.
- Drizzle it with the leftover vinaigrette in the casserole dish.
- Serve immediately.
I was inspired by this recipe to make this salad.