This week's theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is potluck, which means that we can choose any recipe at all. Earlier in the week I was curious about Nigella's lunch box treats, which are made up from crispy rice cereal, cornflakes, quick-cooking oats and sesame seeds. They are held together with rice malt syrup, butter, milk chocolate and rolled into little balls. They were okay, and my son loved them, but I was uninspired with them.
When Saturday rolled around I realized that I didn't want to submit the lunch box treats. They were alright, but not really anything to post about. While flipping through my copy of Nigella's Express, I quickly noticed this recipe for Marsala-Honey Pears with Gorgonzola. I knew instantly that this was the recipe for me! I had all the ingredients on hand, except for the Gorgonzola. A quick trip to the store and I was all set. Marsala-Honey Pears with Gorgonzola - adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson Serves 6-8
2 pears (approx 1lb total weight), each cut into eights (but unpeeled and uncored)
2 tablespoons olive oil (regular not extra virgin)
3 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 lb ripe gorgeous Gorgonzola in perfect condition; it should never have seen the inside of your fridge
While you are cutting the pears into eights - i.e., quarter them and halve each quarter- let the oil heat in a large skillet. Fry the pears for 3 minutes a side, and while they are frying whisk the Marsala and honey together in a cup. When the pears have had their time, throw in the Marsala honey mixture and let it bubble up vociferously around the pears. Then transfer them, all bronzed and syrupy, to a plate. Add the walnuts to the dark juices left in the pan and stir-fry them for about a minute until they are themselves darkened in part and sticky all over. Remove them to the plate with the pears and add ingredient X, your Gorgonzola.
Notes/Results: Unlike the lunch box treats, this recipe was very inspiring! It was a wonderful pairing of salty and sweet, as well as crunchy and smooth and it dissappeared quickly! Both the Marsala and the Gorgonzola have a salty flavor that pairs so well with the honey and the pears. I chose Gorgonzola Picante, which has a sharper flavor and is absolutely creamy and delicious. I ended up using sliced almonds and they added the perfect crunch to the pears and cheese. I also put the Gorgonzola on the stovetop to warm and melt while I baked some fresh bread. This allowed the Gorgonzola to come to room temperature and get all melty. A great dish to make for either an appetizer or a dessert. Definitely a make again recipe!!
Don't forget to head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs to check out all the other "potluck" dishes that were shared this week!