Salad Course : Prosciutto Wrapped Pears in Sage Honey

Beverage Suggestion : Sparkling Water

Serving the salad after the entree is very traditional. For the fifth course it is time to think about bringing the meal in for a landing. One of the secrets to a successful formal dinner is portion size. Keep each course small, and don't overindulge. The meal should be the evening's entertainiment. The fifth or salad course, in a true formal dinner, comes after the main dish, not before as we accustomed to seeing it on most menus. It's really meant as a sort of rest in the meal, a palate cleanser.

For the pears, I have anjou, bosc and bartlett. To serve, place a loose stack of prosciutto on the center of a plate. Lean three pear wedges on the prosciutto and sprinkle with gorgonzola or if you would like a slightly less piquant taste try gorgonzola dolce. Drizzle the warmed sage honey over the top and decorate with a few sage leaves.

1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons brandy
3 sprigs fresh sage, plus a handful of small leaves for garnish
18 thin slices of prosciutto
3 slightly ripe pears (1 each anjou, bosc, bartlett if possible)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola

1. Combine the honey, brandy and sage sprigs in a saucepan and warm over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the sage to steep in the mixture until the flavors have combined, about 15 minutes.

2. Cut the pears in half through the stems. Core each of the pears with a knife and cut into thin wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, place a small, loose mound of prosciutto in the middle of a salad plate. Arrange three pear slices so that they are leaning on the prosciutto. Sprinkle with the gorgonzola cheese and drizzle with a little sage honey. Serve.