Salad for Jeanne des Armoises



4 firm pears (any variety)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter

6 cups salad greens

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Honey-Roasted Almonds

Honey Vinaigrette

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut pears in half; core and peel  if desired. Sprinkle cut side with sugar.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Place pear halves in butter, cut side down. Cook 2 to 5 minutes until cut surface is golden. Remove pear halves and place, cut side up, in a lightly greased roasting pan.

Bake 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Place hot pears on a bed of salad greens. Sprinkle blue cheese and Honey-Roasted Almonds over salad. Drizzle with Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with additional pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

***If you are short on time, slice the pears thinly and caramelize them in a skillet, omitting the baking step completely, or simply slice the pears and serve raw.

Honey-Roasted Almonds (Guess the ingredients)

3/4 cup almonds

2 tablespoons honey

Stir together almonds and honey. Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring after 10 minutes. Spoon onto waxed paper to cool.

Honey Vinaigrette

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake it like a virgin at a BBQ.







Born 1407-died 5/20/1431

    There were several Jeanne D’Arc (Joan of Arc the Maid) imposters.  Jeanne des Armoises was the most genuine. Was she an imposter or was she the real St. Joan?  These were challenging times for France.  The Maid battled for France and immortalized on May 30, 1431, when she was burned at the stake for being a heretic.

For two years Jeanne of Purcelle fought for France with distinction and commanded a battalion of troops.  She was the mother of two children, and at one time was reprimanded for impurity.  She responded, “My value is not dependent on virginity.” Who among us has not made that cry?   Five years after the execution she appeared in Orleans with her knighted husband.  The brothers of The Maid accepted this Jeanne and spent a lot of time, drink and money with her.  As of 1436, Orleans stopped celebrating the death of Jean and apparently, they accepted the new Jeanne.

Now this Jeanne was either inspired or maybe the Maid.  There was always hope that Joan had escaped the pyre, and there was a rumor there was a young imposter that had replaced Joan at the stake.  There are no drawings of the Maid and no photos in the Enquirer.  The town of Orleans should have known her and her brothers should recognize their sister.  It appears the Jeanne partied down and cranked out a bunch of letters all over the place.  She was receiving a pension from the government.  M. Anatole France offers a theory that the brothers were really after money, and they saw what they wanted to believe.  When they met Jeanne, she told them she was their sister, and that was good enough.

Ten years after the execution her death was still in question.  Jeanne visited the King, and as there was speculation the officials tried to present an imposter as the king.  Jeanne was not fooled.  The story continues that the King and Joan had a secret that they shared with no one else, and it involved a prayer.  When he asked for the secret, Jeanne knelt, confessed her sin and cried for mercy.

She was sent to prison for five years, and released in February 1457, provided she bear herself honestly in dress and other matters, as a woman should do.  There is a document from an inquisitor dated 1440 speaking regretfully about the one who got away. Was that Joan or the imposter Jeanne?

RECIPES TO FOLLOW THIS WEEK.  She can be cooked (again) this weekend.