Monday, April 19, 2010
I love cooking for friends and family. To me it’s the most perfect to show my favourite people that I love them. I love planning menus (and of course changing my mind countless times), setting the table and sharing food and laughter. Last Sunday I had five lovely ladies come from far and wide to visit my place for lunch. I wanted to create a nice autumnal meal with seasonal ingredients and I couldn’t go past pears. You may remember that I just love them around this time of year. They’re one of my favourite thing about cool weather cooking.
I decided to make a lovely dish of baked pears with herbed goat’s cheese and prosciutto, which were served on a bed of rocket with a light honey and balsamic dressing. I used a Pukara Estate cinnamon and vanilla balsamic that I picked up in Surry Hills that was just lovely with as a dressing, but I imagine would be fantastic as a reduction or glaze too.
It was super easy to prepare and only took around 20 minutes in the oven. The flavours were absolutely incredible together – the tang of the goat’s cheese seasoned with parsley and basil offsets the sweetness of the pear. Combined with the saltiness and crispiness of the prosciutto, this ticks all the boxes for a great entrée. It even looks beautiful on the plate, if I do say so myself! Best of all, my efforts incited cheese-o-phobe Karen to try the goat’s cheese and declare it “not bad”, which I will definitely claim as a small victory on my part! It was a big hit with the girls and set the mood for a great meal.
Roast Pears with Goats Cheese and Proscuitto
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au
• 200g soft goats cheese
• Finely chopped parsley and basil, to taste
• Salt & Pepper, to taste
• 6 small pears
• 12 slices prosciutto
• Olive oil, to brush
• Rocket leaves, to serve
• ¼ cup Cinnamon and Vanilla Balsamic (Pukara Estate)
• 1 tablespoon quality honey
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
Combine the goats cheese and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Peel pears, slice in half and scoop out the seeds and core (a teaspoon works well for this). Fill the cavity with goats cheese mixture. Wrap pear halves with prosciutto slices, brush with olive oil and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pears and soft and prosciutto is crisp.
Combine the vinegar and honey and whisk to combine. To serve, divide rocket amongst serving plates, place two pear halves on top and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Serve warm.