Guests will feel like royalty when you serve this elegant yet rustic salad. Here, juicy pears are stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, dried cherries and pecans and served over spicy arugula.—Sonya Labbe, Los Angeles, California
Recommended: 62 Christmas Potluck Sides for 12 or More
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3 medium pears, peeled, halved and cored
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup apple cider or juice
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach or fresh arugula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Brush pears with 1 tablespoon lemon juice; place cut side up in an ungreased 11x7-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, cherries and pecans; spoon into pear cavities. In another bowl, combine cider and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved; pour over pears.
- Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35-45 minutes or until pears are tender, basting occasionally. Set aside pan juices.
- Place arugula in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, salt, remaining lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of reserved pan juices. Drizzle over arugula; toss to coat. Serve with pear halves and remaining pan juices. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola Pears in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p44