TOASTS AND SALAD
- ¾ cup Roquefort cheese
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 8 slices toasted baguette (cut on the bias)
- 4 cups arugula
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- 12 slices dried pears
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Beat together Roquefort, butter and chilies. Spread onto the toasts. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and melted.
Place arugula on 4 plates. Sprinkle with pecans. Top with pear slices and warm Roquefort toasts.
Whisk together, lemon juice, maple syrup and parsley. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salads.
Place 12 (or more) very thin slices of cored pear in a bowl with 4 cups of water and 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes, drain and pat pear slices dry with paper towels. Place in a single layer on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and bake at 175 F for 2 to 4 hours (depending on how thin you cut them) or until dried and crisp.
Just as maple syrup serves as a counterpoint to the salty cheese, a moderately sweet wine goes best here. Think off-dry riesling, even a semi-sweet spätlese riesling from Germany. The wine’s substantial acidity will go toe-to-toe with the lemon, too. - Beppi Crosariol