This Pear and Gorgonzola Salad mixes the fresh, sweetness of pear with the tangy, sharpness of gorgonzola – a classic pairing.
If you’re looking for a salad to serve with a special meal, this one is a really great choice. The flavors are bold and work so well together. It feels like a special occasion every time I make it.
When pears are in season and are perfectly juice and ripe, that is when this salad shines the most. Another fun way to serve the pear in this recipe is to use a spiralizer to make fun ribbons out of it (just make sure the pear isn’t overripe or it’ll just fall apart).
If you can’t find pears that are sweet and ripe, you can substitute apple for the pear. It also goes very well with the cheese.
The cheese in this recipe is gorgonzola, but it can be substituted with blue cheese, stilton.
Gorgonzola often has a more mild flavor than blue cheese, so it’s a good choice if you aren’t into stinky cheese. You can find it in a soft, creamy version or a firmer version. For this salad, the firm version is better.
If you don’t like gorgonzola or blue cheese, you can also substitute it with feta cheese, which has a rich acidity similar to gorgonzola.
Toasted walnuts are the other important ingredient in this dish. They don’t have to be fancy candied walnuts, but be sure not to put them in the salad raw. Raw walnuts have a bitterness that can be overwhelming in this salad.
The walnuts should be chopped up into smaller pieces and lightly toasted. I just put them on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, turning or stirring them a few times so they don’t burn. Here’s a guide on how to do it properly.
I always make my own vinaigrette dressing. It ends up so much better than any store-bought dressing. And it’s so easy to make. I always have the ingredients on hand so I can whip up a dressing when I need it. I bet you do too. It just takes oil, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard.
If you have a food processor or handheld blender, they’re perfect for blending up salad dressings. You can also do it with a whisk or by putting the ingredients in a small jar or container with lid and shaking vigorously.
Once you make this salad, you’ll be addicted, believe me. It has so many complex flavors that go together so well. It’s almost hard to believe how good this salad tastes.
Wondering what to serve this salad with? Why not try it with these bacon-wrapped pork chops, or alongside some BBQ ribs. I also think it’s a perfect holiday salad, for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
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Pear & Gorgonzola Salad
For the salad dressing
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp honey or agave
- salt and pepper to taste
- Squeeze of lemon juice
For the salad
- 1 pear diced
- 2 cups arugula or wild lettuce mix
- 3 tbsp crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped, toasted
- 2 tbs cranberries dried
- Toast the walnuts on a griddle over medium heat for 4 minutes per side. Mix all salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl.Mix up the salad dressing.Top the salad with half the salad dressing. Mix well, but gently. If the salad requires more dressing, add one tsp at a time until the desired dressing is reached.Serve immediately.