3 cups Water
1/2 cup Dry white wine
1/2 cup Good port wine
2 tablespoons Granulated sugar
2 whl cloves - (to 3)
1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
4 Firm Bartlett pears
1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
(or other blue cheese)
1/2 pound Mesclun
1/2 pound Thinly-sliced prosciutto, Westphalian,
or real Virginia ham properly cooked,
Bring the water, wine, sugar, and spices to a boil in a pot just large enough to hold the pears. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
While the poaching liquid is cooking, peel, but do not core, the pears. (Use a vegetable peeler for the neatest job with the least waste.)
Poach the pears, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until they are just tender to the tip of a knife. Remove from the heat, and cool the pears in the liquid another 20 minutes. You can refrigerate them (still in the liquid) for later use.
When ready to serve, remove the pears from the liquid, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the core with a teaspoon. With a sharp knife, slice each pear half into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices, leaving the neck of the pear unsliced so that you can "fan" the pear half on its serving plate.
Make the garnish by combining the oil and vinegar in a bowl with the crumbled Gorgonzola. Add the mesclun and toss.
On each serving plate, place a pear half at the 6 o'clock position, "fanning" it across the plate. Divide the prosciutto into 8 portions and drape one portion across the middle of each serving plate, covering the top half of the pear fan. Garnish each plate with 1/4 cup dressed greens, placed in the 12 o'clock position, above the prosciutto.