Blue Cheese Pear Salad Recipe

Blue Cheese Pear Salad Recipe Recipe

When pears still have a hard texture, they are a wonderfully sweet addition to salad. I wanted to make a first course that looks festive for the holidays, so I mixed some greens, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, pears and blue cheese. What's not to like? To finish, I drizzled creamy blue cheese dressing on the salad.

This is definitely not a salad for dieting! It's the holidays though, so indulge.

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

4 cups salad greens (see tips)
6 ounces Saint-Agur blue cheese, crumbled
3 Bosc pears
juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons hazelnut oil (optional)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
½ cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing (click on the link for the recipe)


Directions

Roasting nuts: To release all the flavor and oil of the hazelnuts, I like to roast them in the oven before using them. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet. Place the tray in a preheated oven at 170°F. Roast the hazelnuts for about 15 minutes. Let the nuts cool completely. Rub the nuts between your hands; the skin should come off easily. Coarsely chop them. Do not roast the nuts over a temperature of 170°F or you'll risk breaking healthy fats and lose all the nutrients of the nuts. 

Prepping the pears: Core and cut the pears in small wedges, leaving the skin on. Place the pears in a bowl and coat them in 1-½ tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent oxidation of the fruit and drizzle with honey and hazelnut oil (if used).

Assembly time:

Remove the blue cheese from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving to bring them back to room temperature.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of salad dressing. Toss well. Top with the pears, dried cranberries and blue cheese. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Drizzle with the rest of the dressing (or serve on the side).

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


Tips

I used Saint-Agur blue cheese; you could try Roquefort or gorgonzola as well. If you like to use other cheeses, you could pair the salad with chèvre (goat cheese) or feta cheese.

You can also add other colorful fruits such as fresh raspberries.

I used arugula, frisée, Romaine and red oak leave mixed greens. You could also addr mâche (lamb's lettuce, also known as corn salad), spinach or shredded red cabbage.

Walnut is also another common nut paired with pears.

For the salad dressing, I replaced the agave nectar with pear nectar and balanced the texture with more olive oil.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on December 15, 2010.


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