#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pear, Gorgonzola, and Lentil Salad

Pin It

Okay, I know lentils are like the least glamorous food out there and they don't exactly photograph well, but this might have been my favorite way I've ever eaten them. When I saw this recipe in Redbook Magazine in their feature on Fall salads, I was drawn to the pear and gorgonzola additions. Then, reading through the recipe, I was intrigued by the way the lentils were cooked. Instead of just simmering them in water, a twine-wrapped bundle of carrots and herbs was cooked in the pot along with some smashed garlic.
After being tossed in a mustard vinaigrette, these were flavorful with an earthy taste from the thyme and parsley and a tang from the mustard. Whoever developed this recipe was brilliant; after taking a bite, I couldn't imagine more perfect additions than sautéed pear and the gorgonzola. Sometimes the oddest sounding combinations are the best!

One Year Ago: Pretzel Rolls
Two Years Ago: Cranberry Bruschetta
Three Years Ago: Snickerdoodle Muffins

Pear, Gorgonzola, and Lentil Salad
slightly adapted from Redbook Magazine October 2012

for the lentils-
-1 cup lentils
-1 small carrot, quartered
-2 sprigs fresh thyme
-2 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley
-1 bay leaf
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
-1/4 tsp kosher salt

for the dressing-
-3 tbsp olive oil
-1 tbsp red wine vinegar
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

for the pears-
-2 firm-ripe pears, quartered lengthwise
-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-2 tsp packed brown sugar
-3 oz Gorgonzola cheese, coarsely crumbled

1. Rinse the lentils with cold water. Tie carrot, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf in a bundle with string and place in a medium saucepan with the lentils and garlic. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain and discard bundle and garlic.
2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a glass measuring cup. While lentils are hot, toss with dressing in a large bowl.
3. Core the pears and thinly slice. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and sprinkle with brown sugar. Saute on both sides until golden and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
4. Place lentils on a large platter. Arrange pears on top and sprinkle with Gorgonzola. Serve immediately.