Creating a springtime menu that’s on point is all about choosing pairings that layer flavors harmoniously. In our Spring ’17 issue, wine and spirits expert Marc Supsic (owner of Wine Living), throws a dinner party for friends, and specifically serves dishes and wines that have “complementary voices that are light, airy, zesty and fresh.” For the first course, he presents a beautiful salad: sweet and sour grilled Bosc pears topped with luscious, creamy cheese, and enlivened with a sprinkle of fresh ginger and a drizzle of wildflower honey. For a wine pairing with the salad, he suggests an Austrian Grüner Veltliner, because the wine is fruity, zippy and floral, which mirrors the flavors in the dish.
Two notes on the salad: the pears can be prepared on an outdoor grill, stovetop griddle or in the oven. And if you’d prefer, tart green apples can be substitutes for the pears.
Grilled Bosc Pears with Mascarpone Cheese, Ginger and Honey
Recipe by Marc Supsic
Total Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 10-20 minutes
- 3 pears, any kind (we went with Bosc)
- 1 small tub Mascarpone cheese, spreadable
- 1 fresh ginger root (place in your freezer)
- 6 teaspoons wildflower or clover honey
- 6 pinches smoked sea salt
- 6 mint leaves
Cut pears in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the woody center part, leaving a divot.
Lightly coat your grill or griddle with coconut oil. On a grill, set to medium heat. On the stovetop, medium high. In the oven, 400F. Do not leave puddles of oil, they will smoke. Tip: Grilling indoors will make a lot of smoke! Get some ventilation going.
When the grill/griddle is good and hot, place the pears face down and leave in place for ten minutes. For beautiful grill marks, do not move the pears!
Using a toothpick or a fork, carefully check to see if the pear is soft all the way through. If you’re grilling on the stove top, you’ll need to flip them to cook the other side.
When the pears are finished, move them to a cookie sheet and pace them in a refrigerator or freezer to cool them down. This step is crucial so that the Mascarpone cheese doesn’t melt. When the pears are cool to the touch (about ten minutes), using a teaspoon, place two scoops of Mascarpone cheese in the pear’s divot. Hold the spoon upside-down to scrape the cheese out against the sides of the pear. Wipe off or scrape away any messiness. Repeat for all six pears.
Plate your pears, either on a serving tray or individually.
Remove ginger from the freezer and grate over the pears, coating them all lightly. Tip: Work quickly so that the ginger doesn’t thaw: It’s easier to grate when it’s frozen!
Using a teaspoon, artfully drizzle some honey over each pear. Season each pear with a pinch of smoked sea salt. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Photos by Russell Underwood