- 4 large beets, or 8 small ones
- 2 poached pears, cut into wedges (recipe follows)
- 4 cups shrubbery -- pea shoots, arugula, mache or watercress
- 2 slices bacon, preferably applewood-smoked
- 1 small piece blue cheese
- olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 4 pears, Bartlett or Anjou
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons full-bodied red wine or ruby port
- 3 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece of ginger (3/4 inch), sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
For the salad:
For the beets, remove the greens and wash off any remaining dirt. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place all of the beets in aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Fold the foil over to create a package and place in the oven. Be sure to put them on a sheet tray in case any leaks spring up.
Allow the beets to cook approximately 45 minutes, until knife tender. When they're done, remove from the oven, open up the foil and let cool for a bit. When they're cool enough to handle, grab some paper towels and start rubbing the skins off. Wear latex gloves if you don't want red fingers. Cut the beets into bite-sized wedges and set aside.
While the beets are cooking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until extra-crispy. Remove from the pan and break into small pieces.
For the Poached Pears:
Place all ingredients except the pears in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the liquid. Stir to combine and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors come together. While the liquid is simmering, cut the pears in half and remove the cores with a melon baller. Place the pears in the liquid and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
Time to plate!
Start with a small bed of greens. Scatter the beet wedges around, followed by the pears. Thinly slice or crumble the blue cheese on top of the beets and pears. Scatter the bacon over the entire dish (bacon bomb!) Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a grind of black pepper. If you have whole nutmeg on hand, grate some over the top of the dish. Devour and enjoy!