Try this classic salad recipe with a summertime twist (from Summer Sear, July 2021). Photograph by Douglas Merriam.

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
6 Bosc or other firm pears, like Bartlett
8 ounces piloncillo, or 1 cup dark brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses
1 cinnamon stick 
1 tablespoon dark rum (try Rojo Piñon Rum from Albuquerque’s Left Turn Distillery)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons toasted piñon nuts 
Mint leaves for garnish

Serves 6


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat (350°). Brush grate and wipe clean.   

  2. Peel pears, halve lengthwise, then remove cores. Brush cut sides of pears with melted butter. Grill pears cut side down until they are nicely browned but still firm. Remove from grill and leave at room temperature.

  3. Make the syrup by placing piloncillo, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow syrup to cook until it thickens slightly and is the consistency of maple syrup, about 20 minutes. Strain out cinnamon and stir in rum. If you aren't serving it right away, let cool then transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge. 

  4. Place two pear halves on each of six serving plates. Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, make small scoops of mascarpone and place one scoop in each half pear. Drizzle pears with piloncillo syrup and garnish with piñon nuts and mint leaves.