Thursday, December 30, 2010

Romaine & Gorgonzola Salad with Pears, Roasted Garlic Dressing & Spiced Pecans

I suppose you'll either love or hate this salad, depending on how you feel about blue cheese. Some people think it smells like stinky gym socks. Maybe I'm smelling impaired, but I like it. If you don't like gorgonzola and would rather eat actual stinky gym socks, try another cheese or just try the roasted garlic dressing. I roasted a whole extra bulb of garlic, just so I could squish the cloves onto some bread (it was delicious, but I admit, the squishing was a major part of the appeal).
Makes 4-6 servings

Roasted Garlic Dressing:
11 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper to taste

8 cups bite-size pieces romaine or green leaf lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1-2 ripe pears, chopped 
1 cup Spiced Pecans (or plain toasted, chopped pecans would be nice too)

1.      Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss garlic with oil in small baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake until garlic is golden and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic from skins. Reserve oil.
2.      Transfer roasted garlic to food processor. Add honey, vinegar, cider and mustard and blend well. With processor running, slowly add reserved garlic oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
3.      Toss lettuce with 1/2 cup of the gorgonzola, chopped pears and enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and spiced pecans and serve.

adapted from Fork restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

garlic cloves before roasting (remember, don't peel them)

roasted garlic cloves

If you want to roast garlic on its own, you don't need all the extra oil in this recipe (that's for making the dressing).  Just preheat the oven to 375° F.  Slice the top off a head of garlic (so you can see just a little of each clove).  Place in a small baking dish (or on a piece of aluminum foil) and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil (try to coat all the cloves). Wrap completely with aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cloves are brown on the edges and the garlic is soft.  Cool and squeeze out the roasted garlic.


Anonymous said...

I just ate dinner and yet my mouth is watering right now looking at this salad. I LOVE stinky cheese and pairing it with fruit is so delicious. Putting it together in a salad is so perfect. I have a blue cheese and granny smith salad I'm going to have to post soon since you've reminded me how good this is.

Also, beautiful pictures of the roasted garlic!

Susan said...

It would taste good with your Pasta Fagioli!

Mollie B. said...

Wow, this salad looks delicious! I will have to try it sometime.

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