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Bibb Lettuce Salad with Fresh Pear Dressing

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Gorgonzola and Fresh Pear Dressing

Fresh pears are the star of this salad, a favorite menu item from the Heartline Café in Sedona, Arizona. In this creative showcase, aromatic Bartlett pears are pureed into a sweet-tart dressing as well as tossed in with crunchy Bibb lettuce. Crumbled Gorgonzola adds a savory flavor that is the perfect complement to sweet pears.

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe Bartlett USA Pears, divided use
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh tarragon or scant ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 heads Bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) crumbed Gorgonzola or blue cheese

Directions

Peel, core, and chop one pear. Place pear, ⅓ cup water, sugar, and tarragon in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until pear pieces are soft, about five minutes, depending on ripeness of pear. Do not let all the water evaporate. There should be about ⅞ cup pear and liquid. Cool.

Pour pear and liquid into a blender and blend until smooth. Add part of the vinegar and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust sugar and acid to make a sweet-tart dressing, adding a little water if needed to thin. Refrigerate until cold. 

Core and thinly slice remaining 2 pears. For each serving, arrange 3-4 lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Top with ⅓ of a sliced pear, 2-3 tablespoons Gorgonzola, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing. Serve immediately.

prep time: 25 minutes
yield: Serves 6