photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 servings.

¼ cup chopped walnuts
4 pears, cored and thinly sliced, but not peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small baguette, sliced and toasted

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the chopped walnuts in a sauté pan on medium heat and toast until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Arrange the pears in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pears in the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Remove baking dish from the oven and spoon crumbled cheese evenly over the pears, followed by the dark brown sugar. Return the pears to the oven and roast 8 to 10 minutes or until they are tender and the cheese has melted. Carefully transfer the pears to a serving plate and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve hot on the toasted baguette.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.