The Perfect Fall Salad

This salad is good enough for your Thanksgiving Table. It's one of my favorite salads, and it couldn't be simpler to make. Can I just confess my love for arugula? Hubby and I both adore arugula so much, anytime we're in a restaurant and see arugula salad on the menu we order it. It makes us giddy, we're odd, it's okay. The delicate leaves are so peppery and pair so well with something a little sweet (like a pear) or sour (like a beet). This is another Ina Garten recipe. Enjoy.
3 ripe but firm Anjou pears
juice from 3 lemons
3 ounces crumbles blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
3 Tbsp port (I did not use this)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ounces arugula

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel pears and slice lengthwise into halves. Using a pairing knife or a melon baller remove the core and seeds leaving a small well. Toss the pears in lemon juice to prevent from turning brown. Arrange them in a baking dish so they fit snugly.

Gently toss the blue cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture evenly among the pears, mounding on top.

In the same small bowl, combine the apple cider, brown sugar, and port, stir until sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the cider mixture for 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside until room temperature.

Just before serving whisk together olive oil, left over cider mixture, 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice. Divide the arugula among six plates top with a pear and drizzle dressing over each plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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