The Snow Man

Sunday, January 5, 2014
"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."

- Wallace Stevens, "The Snow Man"

The first recipe I posted in 2013 was an arugula salad, and I couldn't think of a better way to start 2014 than with another one. I made a few substitutions to Ina Garten's original recipe, so I've noted both the original and revised ingredients below. Whether you've made a resolution to eat more healthy food, or are simply looking for a delicious salad recipe, Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Arugula is a perfect way to start the year.

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Arugula
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten)


3 ripe but firm Anjou pears
freshly squeezed lemon juice, about half a lemon's worth (first amount)
3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I used dried cherries)
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped (I used pecan halves)
1/2 cup apple cider
3 Tablespoons port (I used brandy)
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about two lemons' worth (second amount)
6 ounces baby arugula
a pinch of kosher salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves. Remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling. Trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of each pear half so they can sit in a baking dish without wobbling. Toss the pears with lemon juice (first amount) to prevent browning. Arrange them core side up in a baking dish large enough to hold the pears snugly.

Gently toss the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the pears, mounding it on top of the indentation.

In the same small bowl, combine the apple cider, port and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake pears, basting occasionally with the cider mixture, for 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside until warm or at room temperature.

Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Add the arugula and toss well. Divide the arugula among 6 plates and top each with a pear half. Drizzle each pear with some of the basting liquid, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.


Chocolate Shavings said...

Blue cheese and pears are of my favourite combos - yum!

Kimberly said...

That looks and sounds really good!

Paula Montenegro said...

A perfect salad to start the year. Arugula is my magic green, it goes so well with just about everything!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Not sure I have the mind of winter. I want spring. Thanks for the recipe. I'm trying to eat lots of salads with the new year.

Kitchen Riffs said...

It's snowing like heck right now, and we're going to receive about a foot of the white stuff, so your post is quite appropriate! Lovely salad - it'd go well with the hot soup we'll be craving after we shovel snow!

Jemi Fraser said...

That looks like a good one! I've actually never tried roasted pears - sounds great!

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, A beautiful and most importantly thought provoking poem. Thank you.
As for the resolutions, I suppose most have made the resolution to eat more fruits, veggies, salads and simply more healthy meals. I am certainly not an exception to that resolution!
This is a very perfect way to start last year and this year.
blessings, Catherine xo

vanillasugarblog said...

I just had some arugula with walnuts and a little balsamic. So good.

grace said...

after all the decadence of the holidays, this is a welcome sight. :)

Kathy said...

The photo of your farm is gorgeous! So peaceful.
Also a lovely salad…love pears and arugula…a perfect pairing!

Julie said...

The salad looks delicious and the snow beautiful. Happy New Year!

Justine L said...

I love that Stevens poem. Thanks for reminding me of it!

Unknown said...

Rucola and pear...a very lovely combination, need to try! A beautiful Winter you have there, no snow by the Baltic. :) ela

Unknown said...

I've found you really can't go wrong with an Ina Garten recipe. This salad looks just fabulous Beth!

Vi said...

I love arugula and what a pretty snow picture. Happy new year!!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Once I pick up some pears and arugula, I'm ready to go! This looks fantastic, Beth!

Daniela Grimburg said...

A beautiful poem to start the year with.
And LOVE the pear with blue cheese and arugula salad.
It's a perfect combination of flavors and textures.
Happy New Year, Beth!

Anonymous said...

I know how good your salad must have been because I made a similar one the other day with some of the spiced pecans I had. Next time I'll add the dried cherries as they sound like a nice addition. :)

Joanne said...

How lovely!! The stuffing in the pear looks absolutely divine. Perfect for making the salad more exciting.

Anonymous said...

What a delicious looking salad!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Such a fresh and yummy dish. Enjoy that snow. ;)

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Lovely picture and poem. Brrrrrrr. I am tired of being cold, though.

Angie's Recipes said...

The roasted pear looks delightful, Beth, and looks so beautiful served over the arugula.

Crystal Collier said...

And this is where I start wishing my hubby liked pears. Maybe I'll have to try this one out just for me--no kids, no hubby invited. =)

CQUEK said...

Lovely post

Barbara said...

Lovely poem, Beth, And your version of Ina's salad looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

a beautiful poem....scrumptious warm pear salad and wonderful holiday and pics,love your blog,thanks :-)

Amy said...

This is a really beautiful and delicious looking winter salad. I love the flavor combination.

Katerina said...

This is a beautiful poem Beth and the salad is healthy and delicioous!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Lovely salad! And I am thinking this could be adapted to use the pears I canned last fall!

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