From the Good Food Awards: Pears, Paired with Cheese

January 14, 2014

For two weeks, our friends at the Good Food Awards will be sharing articles, tips, and recipes from some of their judges, friends, and past GFA winners. Each day will feature a different category, from chocolate to charcuterie to cheese. And if you'd like to score some of the goods competing in this year's awards, head to Provisions.

Today: Sam Mogannam of San Francisco's Bi-Rite Market and author of Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food, celebrates a favorite from the Good Food Awards cheese category by pairing it with grilled pears and toasted hazelnuts.

Grilled Pears on Food52

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In honor of one of our favorite Good Food Award Winners, Avalanche Cheese Company’s Midnight Blue, we paired it with toasted hazelnuts and fragrant pears for a warm and wintry salad.

These pears are infinitely versatile: You can eat them by themselves as a light first course; or, for a more substantial salad, serve them on a bed of lightly dressed arugula; they are even lovely as dessert. The best part is that you can grill the pears a few hours ahead of time and then assemble them just before serving.

For the best results, use pears that are ripe but still relatively firm; the extra sturdiness makes them easier to manipulate on the grill. We like Bosc, Warren, and Red Cascade varieties. If you can’t find hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts will work nicely, too.

Grilled Pears with Blue Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts

Serves 4 to 6

4 ripe pears, cored and halved
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (see Note)
1/3 cup crumbled Midnight blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
4 sprigs of tarragon

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo provided by the Good Food Awards

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kate
  • ATG117
  • jeneric
  • AntoniaJames
Good Food Awards

Written by: Good Food Awards


Kate January 14, 2014
Thank you for this! Got a ton of pears in my co-op basket this week and had no idea what to do with this.
ATG117 January 14, 2014
Love this and can't wait to try it. The photo does not do it full justice.
jeneric January 14, 2014
go Sam! He's one of my food heros and is just as kind as he is visionary.
AntoniaJames January 14, 2014
"Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere." That says it all. ;o)