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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Pickled Pear Plate

Many West coast restaurants use prickly pears in salads, but I am here to tell you that these PICKLED pears are far and away tastier. This simple salad is as good as it looks and the blueberry flavor just seems to go perfectly with pears. Try other flavored vinaigrettes as well for a vibrant-themed salad, such as cranberry.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 2 firm pears, peeled and halved
  • 1 (10 ounce)bottle Wild Blueberry Vinaigrette, see NOTE
  • 1/4 cup small cubed Anadama, or pumpernickle bread
  • 4 cups your favorite salad greens
  • 1/4 cup shredded, extra sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup broken cashews

Pickled Pear Plate Directions

  1. Take a spoon and hollow out the core of each pear halve. Place in a small saucepan with vinaigrette. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, immediately remove from heat and let cool enough to transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 full day, turning pears over after 12 hours.*
  2. Add bread cubes in a dry skillet over medium high heat and toast until completely crispy on all sides, stirring or tossing frequently; set aside until ready to use.
  3. When ready to to serve, divide salad greens among 4 serving bowls. Remove pear halves and carefully slice thinly, not cutting completely up toward stem end in order to keep it intact. You can also simply cut it any way you like.
  4. Place pear on top of greens, followed by equal amounts of cheese, bacon, cashews and toasted bread cubes.
  5. Drizzle additional vinaigrette from the pickled pears on top and serve cold.
  6. * These pears can keep for a week or more in refrigerator as is or in a canning jar for later use. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  7. NOTE: If you can't find a decent blueberry vinaigrette dressing in your supermarket, you have 2 choices. Take a cup of frozen blueberries and place in a small saucepan over medium heat. As it cooks, break up with a sturdy, large fork or potato masher. Cook for 3 minutes, or until you think all the juice has been extracted. Remove from heat and pour through a fine-meshed strainer. Whisk in with your favorite plain vinaigrette dressing. Or you can just purchase what I believe to be the best(maybe even the only) wild blueberry vinaigrette dressing on the market today, at barharborjam.com.
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