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Harvest Pear & Gorgonzola Salad

This irresistible salad features juicy pears, salty gorgonzola (or blue cheese), crunchy fennel, peppery arugula, sweet dried cherries and nutty walnuts. A quick apple cider vinaigrette ties everything together. It’s always a crowd pleaser, and it pairs perfectly with just about any main course, from holiday roasts, to baked chicken, to weeknight pastas. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, goat cheese and feta are also delicious (although this salad has converted blue cheese skeptics!). Don't miss my step-by-step video above!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pear and blue cheese salad, pear gorgonzola salad, pear salad recipe
Servings: 4 -6 people

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salad

  • ½ medium head radicchio, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved on mandoline
  • 2 cups mixed greens or baby arugula
  • 1 ripe Barlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (or you can use pecans or hazelnuts)
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
  • ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese

Instructions

Make the vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl or jar, combine the apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk or shake until the honey is dissolved. Add the olive oil and whisk or shake to combine. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Do Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Assemble the salad

  • In a large bowl, combine the radicchio, fennel, greens, pear and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in just enough dressing to coat (you might not need it all), and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the dried cherries and gorgonzola cheese over top. Give the salad one more gentle toss, then serve!

Notes

Do Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Tips:
  • You can use any pear variety you like, although I prefer Bartlett pears, which are juicy with thin skins. Thinly sliced apples are also delicious!
  • Feel free to swap out the radicchio for sliced endive.
  • Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese from Italy. It’s creamy and salty with a delicious “bite” from the blue veining. However, you can use any blue cheese you like in this recipe, such as Roquefort (a French blue cheese that’s typically a bit sharper than Gorgonzola) or an American blue cheese.
  • Try these Maple Roasted Pecans in place of the walnuts.
  • I like to make salad dressings in jars with lids so that I can just shake them up (they store easily that way too!).
  • Try this salad with Easy Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken!