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March 07, 2011

Fresh Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread


By Beth Sollars - singingirl cooks

Want to make friends and influence people? How about just impress your dinner guests? Or how about just treat yourself to a really easy to make and very elegant little appetizer?  


I ordered something like this at a restaurant in West Palm Beach the other day just around the corner from the salon where my son works as a color specialist.  It was so good.  I knew I just had to make this at home. Yet, as delicious as it was, I decided (of course, not being able to leave well enough alone) to kick it up two more notches.

The dish I was served was sliced pears and blue cheese on flatbread, heated and then topped with a balsamic reduction. The flatbread I'm making includes the addition of chopped walnuts, and the balsamic reduction is a raspberry infused balsamic vinegar.... and I made it myself!   I also used one of my new faves, Bosc pears.  But you could use a very good canned pear IF you had to!  So easy.  Here's the easy assembly.




At a glance, these are the simple ingredients for this dish:


  • Flatbread
  • Fresh pears
  • Walnuts
  • Blue cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar



First, make your vinegar reduction ahead of time.  Buy a bottle of good aged raspberry balsamic vinegar.  You don't have to go crazy and buy the most expensive one of the shelf, just something decent.  If you want to have a small supply of it around, use the entire bottle.

Pour it all into a saucepan, bring it to a boil gently, then reduce the heat. Keep it simmering and bubbling slowly, stirring often, until it reduces by half.  

It will start to become thick and coat your spoon.  The whole process will probably take twenty minutes or so, but it's worth it.  After it has reduced, it will be thick and kind of syrupy but will thicken up even more when it cools. (See Singingirl's note below.) It should be the consistency of a syrup, and I'm sure you've seen this in restaurants, so you know what you're looking for.  

When it has cooled completely, you can store it in one of those little plastic squeeze bottles that you can get at the dollar store.  You will use this not only for this flatbread recipe but for many other dishes like vanilla ice cream (yep), fruit salads, etc.   If you buy an unflavored balsamic and use this method, you can use the reduction for drizzling over roasted turkey, chicken, pork, etc.  Delish and very gourmet!


Okay.  Now that you have the reduction made, you can make your flatbread any time.  I bought a nice, soft wheat flatbread.  Peel and slice a ripe pear, one pear per flatbread, and arrange it over the flatbread in a spiral looking design.  Sprinkle the top of the pear slices with a few chopped walnuts, then scatter a liberal amount of good chunky blue cheese over the top of everything.

Pop this under your broiler and broil until warmed and the cheese is softening.  You don't need to get this so hot that you can't eat it, just heat it through until soft and melty looking. Remove to your serving dish.  Drizzle with your special raspberry balsamic reduction, slice with a pizza wheel into four triangles, and prepare to be totally impressed with your culinary panache!!!

Let me know how it turned out for you below in the "comments."  Thanks for stopping by!




Singingirl's note - After assembling and preparing this for the photo, I quickly realized why my end result does not look like what I had in the restaurant.  My reduction was not thick enough, and my blue cheese was more crumbly than large chunky pieces.  Next one I make I will make sure to correct these two things that really only made a cosmetic difference. The taste was still awesome!

- Beth

Would you like to print this recipe and add it to your favorites?  Simply click the recipe box below.





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