Arugula & Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Macadamia Stuffed Pears

  • Recipe courtesy of Nadine Mesch, Bronze Tier Prize Winner in the 2014 Salemville® “How Do You Blue” recipe contest
  • Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • Pears:

  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 2 firm ripe pears, halved lengthwise, cored
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Stuffing:

  • 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. chopped macadamia nuts, toasted, divided
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/3 c. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • Dressing:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups arugula

    Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Place on paper towel to absorb excess grease; crumble and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the butter and 1 teaspoon honey. Brush the mixture over the cut sides of the pears, sprinkle with salt. Place the pears cut sides up on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until just tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  • While pears are baking, mix 1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, raisins, blue cheese, thyme and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Remove the pears from the oven; spoon the stuffing evenly on top of the pears. Bake on the upper oven rack until the cheese starts to soften, approximately 3 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from oven; set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until incorporated.
  • Place the arugula in a medium size bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
  • To serve, place the arugula on 4 plates; top with a stuffed pear half and sprinkle with bacon and remaining toasted macadamia nuts.