The mildly spiced flavor of the pears is offset by the buttery richness and crunch of macadamias, and sharp, crisp flavor of Parmesan and spicy taste of Arugula, all brought together with the enticing dressing. A glorious salad to serve with any meal, but perfect with a summertime grilled main course.

Poached Pear Salad with Arugula, Macadamia and Parmesan

Poached Pear Salad with Arugula, Macadamia and Parmesan
Recipe type: Salads and Dressings
Serves: 6
  • 2 Cups Spiced Poaching Syrup*
  • 2 Cups Pinot Grigio (or other acidic white wine)
  • 4 Bosc pears (5 to 6 ounces each); peeled, cored, and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 Cups baby arugula
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 Cup whole macadamia nuts
  1. In a 10-inch braiser, combine the poaching syrup and wine. Place the pear halves, cut sides down, in the pan; if desired, press a piece of parchment paper over the pears and spoon some of the poaching liquid on top to help keep the pears submerged. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a plate and let cool to room temperature. Reserve the poaching liquid for another use. Cut 2 of the pear halves into 6 slices each. Set the pear slices and remaining pear halves aside.
  3. Put the shallots in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, 1 ounce of the cheese, the macadamia nuts, the pear slices and the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Divide the salad among 6 plates, mounding it slightly off center. Garnish with the remaining cheese.
  5. Serve immediately.
* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Comments: Ideal for delicate foods, poaching is a simple technique that involves cooking the ingredients in not-quite-simmering water or other seasoned liquid. The food becomes tender and moist and infused with the flavor of the poaching liquid. Here, we poach pears in our spiced poaching syrup, then transform the fruit into an elegant salad embellished with macadamias and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
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