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Bosc Pears


Pears and cheese are a natural combination, but few chefs are willing to keep things that simple. Tocqueville’s Marco Moreira amplifies the delicate sweetness of the Bosc, a variety he likes for its sturdiness when baked or poached, by roasting it with butter and sugar. Then he dresses it up with crunchy fennel and frisée, toasted hazelnuts, and rich, creamy Cheddar from Connecticut’s Cato Corner Farm.

Marco Moreira’s Cato Corner Farm Cheddar Salad with Shaved Fennel, Frisée, Roasted Pear, and Hazelnut-Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Bosc pears
2 tbsp. butter, softened
cup sugar
1 tbsp. freshly cracked pepper
cup aged
balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
6 tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt
1 head frisée lettuce, stem and core removed, washed and dried
1 fennel bulb, washed, sliced paper-thin on a mandoline
2 tbsp. fines herbes (parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives), finely chopped
2 tbsp. shallots, finely diced
8 oz. Cato Corner Farm Cheddar, sliced very thinly into 16 slices (available at Greenmarket)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
cup olive oil or canola oil
cup hazelnut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (1) Halve pears lengthwise, and core. Spread softened butter over a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar and cracked pepper evenly over the butter. Place pears on pan, cut side down, and roast for twenty minutes. Remove pan and shift pears to ensure even caramelization, then continue roasting for another twenty minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove pan from oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, reduce the balsamic vinegar by half in a small pan over medium heat, then set aside to cool. (2) To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the sherry vinegar in a medium-size bowl and add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking quickly to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and whisk again. In a small bowl, mix the frisée with the fennel, herbs, and shallots, then toss with the vinaigrette and season to taste. Slice each half of roasted pear in half again lengthwise, and place two slices off-center in each plate, filling the center with salad. Top with two slices of cheese. Crack the hazelnuts and mix with hazelnut and olive oils, then sprinkle over salad. (3) Drizzle with reduced balsamic to finish. Serves 8.


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