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Author Notes: For these little treats, I basically took the idea of Parmesan tuiles with chopped tomatoes - which I saw in a recent issue of Food & Wine, I think - and went all autumnal (or winter-nal, new word!) on it. I can never decide which cheese is my favorite for pears, bleu, brie, Gruyere, or Manchego, but it seemed to me that Manchego was really the only one that could possibly work for tuiles, so, decision made!
The salad has a good deal of sweet in it, to contrast with Manchego's saltiness, but there's a bit of savory too, because, well, that's what I wanted. These would be great to put out at a party, if you don't find you accidentally ate them all, all by yourself while standing in the kitchen. - fiveandspice
- 2 tablespoons (generous) minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 6 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups diced pears, any variety you'd like, sprinkled with a tsp. of lemon juice to keep them from getting too brown
- 3 dried dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- sea salt
- Combine the onion and the vinegar in a small bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Heat your oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cheese, butter, flour, and pepper until it is all mixed. Then, scoop it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet in 12 equal spoonfuls. Using lightly floured fingers, gently press each mound of cheese mixture into a circle about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 7 minutes (rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking), until the tuiles are golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel and let them drain any excess fat.
- In a medium bowl, gently combine the pear with the red onion, dates, thyme, and olive oil.
- Put the tuiles out onto a serving platter, mound spoonfuls of the pear salad on top of them, sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pears