I really wanted to do a unique salad for Thanksgiving. I thought about all sorts of veggie salads including roasted vegetables but in the end I decided on roasting fruit instead. For some reason I never seem to think about roasting fruit but now that that I have tried these roasted pears, I am quite sure I will do so more often. The pears were so tender and flavorful and were a perfect topper to a simple bed of tender lettuce.
I am already thinking about roasting peaches, plums and whatever else I can find in the produce aisles of my grocery store or the Farmer's market when the weather warms up.
Roasted Pear Salad
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 firm pears, halved legnthwise
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup figs, chopped
2 tbs lemon juice
8 oz Boston lettuce
Salt and pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Heat on low until the sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the pecans in a skillet and toast over medium heat until they become fragrant but not burned. Mix the figs and pecans together and set aside.
Scoop the center of each pear with a melon baller and dip each pear half in lemon juice. Fill each hole with the pecan and fig mixture. Drizzle the dressing over the top of each pear ensuring each is sufficiently covered reserving some extra. Roast at 375 degrees until tender (about 30 minutes).
Clean and tear the lettuce and place it on a dish. Top with one pear half and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper if desired.