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This dish is a modification of the wonderful chèvre chaud salads one finds in Parisian restaurants. A delicious appetiser, it is simple, has few ingredients, and is quick to prepare.

Chèvre is French for goat, and in this case, refers to goat cheese. If you have not had goat cheese before, you should know that it has a certain tart flavour and it cannot be substituted for a blander cheese like bonbel, or even brie without significantly altering the taste of the dish. The word chaud means hot in French, and poire is pear. So there you have it – warm goat cheese with pears…bon appetit!

Ingredients:

  • Honey – four tablespoons
  • Olive oil – two tablespoons
  • Balsamic vinegar – two tablespoons
  • Goat cheese – fresh, 250g
  • Walnuts – 1/3 cup, finely chopped
  • Pears – four, preferably the red-skinned beurré d’Anjou
  • (Baby mesclun greens – two cups)
  • (Baguette – cut into ½ inch thick slices)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Serves: 8

Process:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180° C
  • Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey in a small bowl
  • Cut the pears in half and core them. Then generously brush the oil-vinegar-honey mixture over the halved pears and set them cut side down in a baking tray. Pour the remaining mixture over the pears
  • Bake the pears for about 20 minutes or until soft (can be easily pierced with a fork). While not essential that the pears be Anjou pears, they are usually sweeter and softer, adding a little fruity sweetness to the flavour of the dish and making it quicker to bake
  • Roll the goat cheese in the walnuts.
  • Once soft, turn the pears in the tray such that the cut side faces up. Then, cut the goat cheese into appropriate sized chunks and place them in the hollows of the pears.
  • Turn the heat up to broil for about two minutes or until the cheese is soft (but not runny). Set the baguette slices in the oven for these last couple of minutes

If desired, set on a small bed of baby mesclun greens, drizzle some of the baking juices on top, and serve with a slice of warm baguette.

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