Fresh pear with bacon-topped cheese dip
Inspiration for this bright and succulent meal-starter came from a magazine at the chiropractor’s office. Once home, I could neither recall the name of the magazine nor the components of the dip. No problem! Just dream, imagine, risk.
The resulting dish is shockingly easy for the impact it delivers, both visually and taste-wise.
Since risk is the name of the game, I divided the dip in half the first time trying this dish. Earlier in the day we had oven-roasted fresh asparagus with crushed garlic and olive oil. The oil had not overheated and the garlic was roasted but not browned. In other words, it was perfect. The asparagus was gone, but the oil and garlic remained.
As any garlic addict would do, I added the garlic, oil, and a pinch of cayenne to one half of the dip. Now we had two dips. What fun for tasting and critiquing!
Both renditions were lovely, but we all felt the garlic-y version played better with the bacon.
The following recipe will give you a memorable meal starter for four people. It also makes a fine mid-afternoon snack and would be a wonderful side dish for brunch. You’ll find all sorts of ways to enjoy this pear-filled event!
Pear and Bacon Ingredients
- 2 ripe but firm pears
- 2 strips of crispy bacon, minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
- 2 heaping tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 heaping tablespoons grated sharp white cheddar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or more to suit your taste
- Optional: 1 teaspoon garlic oil or fresh garlic roasted in oil and a pinch of cayenne pepper
Pear and Bacon Steps
- Wash and dry the pears.
- Cut the pears in quarters length-wise. Remove the stems and cores. Cut the quarters in half to produce 16 pear slices in total.
- Arrange the slices on serving plates for easy handling. The pear slices can be finger food or eaten on small plates with forks.
- In a small bowl mix the sour cream, both cheeses, and maple syrup. Add more syrup if you wish. This is where you add the garlic oil and cayenne should you choose to go that direction.
- The pear slices make a pretty showing on individual salad plates with the dip dabbed on each slice, bacon crumbled over the top. Another possibility is to arrange the slices on one larger plate with the slices circling the rim of the plate. Pile the dip in the middle. There are many possibilities here. Have fun!
The dip can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for a couple of days. It is best, however, to slice the pears just as you are assembling the dish. This keeps the pears from turning dark and helps preserve the precious juice that pears are known for.