Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Poached Pear and Brie Salad

It’s officially pear season. Move over, pumpkins!

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

I always make sure I grab a few pears whenever I make a trip to the grocery store. When I get home, I place them in the fruit bowl to ripen on the counter before storing them in the refrigerator until I’m ready to eat (that’s if they last that long).

I’ve been going a little pear crazy lately and adding sweet, ripe pears to my morning smoothie, making chutney for my morning oatmeal, and baking them in to all sorts of fall treats.

Fall Pears | www.themessybakerblog.com

USA Pears is currently harvesting all 10 varieties of their pears, Yellow Bartlett being my pear of choice. They’re sweet and juicy when ripe. You can tell when a pear is ripe by pressing gently on the narrow “neck” of the pear near its stem. If it gives to pressure, it’s ripe. I also like to perform what I call the sniff test. If the pear smells like a pear, it’s ready to eat.

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

For this recipe, I poached under-ripe Yellow Bartlett pears in Riesling and placed them on top a bed of crisp mixed greens and tossed in some creamy brie and toasted pecans.

Poaching pears is incredibly simple. It sounds like a fancy cooking technique, but I assure you it’s not. Poaching is just a fancy term for gently simmering. I used a mixture of white wine, water, and granulated sugar to create a sweet, flavorful poaching liquid for my pears.

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

Add wine, water, and sugar to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down to medium-low. While you wait for the mixture to boil, peel your pears. I leave the stem on for aesthetics and a handle to grab when I’m plating.

Place your pears in the gently simmering wine mixture so that the pears are laying on their side. Simmer the pears for 20 minutes, turning once for even cooking.

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

When the pears are finished cooking, crank up the heat and allow the mixture to reduce by half, about 10 minutes.

Slice the cooled pears and arrange them on top a bed of mixed greens. Toss in the brie and toasted pecans. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic vinaigrette.

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

You’re not going to use the wine reduction for the salad; however, it’s delicious mixed in a cocktail, bubbly champagne, or cold club soda. If you happen to have a leftover poached pear hanging around, the poaching liquid is delicious drizzled over the pear. Or, for a decadent treat, top your poached pear with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the poaching liquid.

Poached Pear and Brie Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | www.themessybakerblog.com

Poached Pear Salad with Brie

Sweet pears poached in crisp Riesling and sliced thin atop a bed of mixed greens tossed with brie and toasted pecans.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Poached Pears: 

  • 4 under-ripe Yellow Bartlett Pears, peeled
  • 2 cups white wine, such as Riesling or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Salad: 

  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 8-ounces brie, sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups toasted pecans
  • 1 recipe balsamic vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette: 

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Poached Pears: 

  1. Add wine, water, and sugar to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Peel the pears and add them to the liquid so that the pears are laying on their side. Cook, turning the pears once half way through, for 20 minutes minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the widest part of the pear goes in easily.
  3. Remove the pears from the liquid with a slotted spoon.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the mixture to reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
  5. Allow the pears to cool just enough to handle. Slice the pears into thin wedges.
  6. Store the reduced poaching liquid in the fridge.

Salad: 

  1. Add the mixed greens to a large bowl. Add sliced pear, brie, and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.
  2. Add the balsamic vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, and dijon mustard.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The reduced poaching liquid can be used to sweeten cocktails, added to champagne, or mixed with club soda. If you have a leftover pear, you spoon the poaching liquid over the pear and eat it for a snack. The poaching liquid is also delicious spooned over vanilla ice cream.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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16 Responses to “Poached Pear and Brie Salad”

  1. #
    1
    Choc Chip Uru — October 30, 2014 at 6:31 am

    This salad looks lovely, I love pear in salad though I haven’t tried brie before! :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply

    • Jennie replied October 30th, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Thanks, Uru! The brie is so creamy. You’ll love it.

      Reply

  2. #
    2
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — October 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    What a beautiful salad! I love using pears in salads!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied October 30th, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Me, too! I love the sweet/savory combo. Thanks!

      Reply

  3. #
    3
    Julia — October 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Can you believe I’ve never poached a pear!? I must get on this ASAP. I’m totally ready for pear season to be in full swing and this salad looks absolutely fantastic! mmmmmbriiiiiiiie!!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied October 30th, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Before this post, I’ve never poached a pear. It was a new experience. All this time I thought poaching pears was fancy and difficult. It’s totally not. Basically, it’s just simmering. Easy!

      Reply

  4. #
    4
    Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel — October 30, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Awesome combo of flavors in this salad!! I love how easy poaching pears is– and bartlett’s are one of my faves too!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied November 4th, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Thanks, Jess! Bartlett pears are the best!

      Reply

  5. #
    5
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) — October 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    This salad is absolutely fantastic!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied November 4th, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Thanks, Jocelyn!

      Reply

  6. #
    6
    Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com — October 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Well, I’m not sure if I’m ready to say goodbye to pumpkins, but I AM ready to welcome pears to my life, too! This salad is so gorgeous! If I could have this every day, I’d have no problems eating salads with every meal. :)

    Reply

    • Jennie replied November 4th, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth! No worries, pumpkin will makes its return shortly. I don’t have the strength to give it up for good.

      Reply

  7. #
    7
    Amber @ Mamas Blissful Bites — October 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Loving this combo! Pears are my absolute favorite! So sweet, they can remind me of candy :) mmmm

    Reply

    • Jennie replied November 4th, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Amber!

      Reply

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