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Pear & Blue Cheese Risotto

October 12, 2008

In my monthly perusals of Bay Area events for Spaces Magazine, I stumbled upon the Annual Pear & Wine Festival at Santana Row. Pears and wine sound lovely, I thought, clicking on the link. It was at this moment that I noticed the link above it, asking the daring question, “Are you the next Santana Row top chef?” Hmmm….intriguing. The requirements stated taste and originality as the primary means of judgment for any pear recipe submitted. I could do that!

When people think about pears, which I doubt is very often, they think juicy and sweet (OK, maybe not all, but I know plenty who do, especially if they are thinking of the Harry and David varieties). And because a pear is a sweet fruit, most people would think of a dessert. So, I automatically ruled out a dessert recipe. What goes well with pears? Blue cheese goes nicely. OK, well, what do I like to eat? Risotto is one of my most favorite foods, which got me thinking that maybe pears and blue cheese could work with risotto. I imagined a sweet and savory sensation on my taste buds. I knew it would either be great or a total flop, but spurned on by Santana Row’s challenge to be their next top chef, I decided to go for it.

My first try proved that I was on the right track; all I ended up doing was adding more pears and blue cheese to my final recipe. Santana Row will be the judge of my recipe in a week, but in the meantime, you be the judge, and let me know what you think of my newest creation: Pear & Blue Cheese Risotto.

Pear & Blue Cheese Risotto


1/4 cup butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped

1-1/4 cup arborio rice

3 Tablespoons Pear brandy

1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

2 large, ripe pears, peeled and cubed

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup blue cheese, shaved


Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add chopped onions. Sauté until onions are translucent and soft. Add arborio rice, stir to coat with oil, and cook until grains start to “pop,” approximately 2 minutes. Add pear brandy. Once brandy cooks down, add broth a 1/2 cup at a time, allowing rice to soak up the broth before adding more. Continue stirring and adding broth until rice is cooked and creamy. A good indication that the rice is ready is when a wooden spoon can stand straight up in the rice. Stir in cubed pears, allowing to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly. Once Parmesan has been completely incorporated, take the pot off the burner and stir in blue cheese. Serve with a slice of blue cheese, and enjoy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2008 7:09 am

    Oh my effing eff. That sounds delicious. I have a new idea instead of brunch: potluck. I think we may need someone to bring a risotto dish though.

  2. Nicole permalink
    October 15, 2008 4:10 pm

    Yum! That sounds like an intriguing combo. Good luck in the competition – let me know how you do!


  1. Experimenting with Peppers & Prosciutto « Tomatoes and Basil

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