Spinach Salad with Poached Pears

Spinach Salad with Poached Pears
Description

This salad is a classic fall pairing of walnuts, goat cheese, and pears, but with a twist: spiced fruit poached with True Lemon & True Orange.

Ingredients

4 Forelle pears (or 2 medium Bosc or Anjou pears)
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole star anise
1 packet True Lemon
1 packet True Orange
1/2 small cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2-3 ounces of goat cheese

Directions
  1. Peel pears, leaving stems intact, and place upright in saucepan. Combine 1 cup water with white wine, sugar, vanilla extract, star anise, True Lemon and True Orange, and cinnamon stick and pour over pears. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce and simmer for 25 minutes or until pears are tender. (Time may vary based on ripeness.)
  2. Remove pears from saucepan, strain the liquid, and reserve 2 tablespoons. Discard the spices and remaining liquid. Core and slice pears into thin strips and set aside.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine the slices from 2 pears (or 1 if you’re using Bosc or Anjou) with reserved poaching liquid, oil, and vinegar. Pulse until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toss remaining pear pieces with spinach, walnuts, cranberries, and 2 tablespoons dressing. Divide salad evenly among four plates and top with goat cheese. Serve immediately with additional dressing on the side.