Asian pears are a delightful addition to the pear family. They are crisp and slightly sweet but not too juicy which makes them a wonderful component to any savory recipe. Their taste is not overpowering and compliments stronger flavors such as that of a blue cheese which they typically pair well with. I have always liked the combination of pears and gorgonzola in salads. Once while on travel, I had a salad with pears, gorgonzola and mint which all stood out on their own amidst the sea of green leaves. I cannot remember the dressing of this salad, nor if there were other ingredients. All I can remember was that the usual combination of pear and gorgonzola had now reached a new height in taste with the addition of mint. The mint added a hint of freshness and sweetness, both which I find to be characteristics of pears, and contrasted very well with the gorgonzola cheese.
About this recipe
I decided to take the elements I most liked about that salad on their own and serve the pear slices with gorgozola and fresh mint as an elegant appetizer when I have guests. I have made this often also as a snack, and it is perfectly served with a sweet wine such as Sauternes or Moscato at the end of a meal in the place of a dessert or a cheese platter. I add a bit of fresh ricotta to soften the strong flavor of the gorgonzola so it does not overpower the pear slices. Sometimes I add a bit of freshly ground black pepper. You can use any other type of pear, but I suggest choosing one that is not overly sweet or juicy so the other ingredients do not compete for attention. If you cannot find Asian pears, Bosc pear would be a good alternative.
Asian Pear with Gorgonzola, Ricotta & Mint
Serves 3-4 people (2-3 slices per person)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: none
- 1 Asian pear (can also use Bosc; or any dry pear)
- 2 Tablespoons (approximately) of gorgonzola cheese (or more if you prefer)
- 4 Tablespoons of soft ricotta cheese (best if use fresh ricotta – for simple recipe click here: Homemade Ricotta)
- 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped.
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste (optional)
- Use a fork to break apart the gorgonzola cheese and soften it. Add the ricotta cheese and mix well. You can add a little freshly ground black pepper to this mixture (or on top of pears; black pepper is optional), reserve mixture.
- Chop fresh mint leaves, reserve.
- When ready to serve, cut the pear into thin slices; make sure they are thick enough to be able to hold the slice with your hand if serving as an appetizer.
- Plate the pear slices and place a spoonful (or less if preferred) of the gorgonzola and ricotta mixture in the middle of each slice.
- Sprinkle the freshly chopped mint leaves over the pears and to decorate the plate. Serve immediately.
The gorgonzola and ricotta mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Cut the pear slices just before serving so they don’t turn brown. Adding lemon to prevent the slices from browning can alter the taste of this recipe, since so few ingredients are used.
Serve as an appetizer, snack, or after dinner treat.
I hope you enjoy!