Pear, blue cheese & walnut salad with maple vinaigrette

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A classic pear, blue cheese & walnut salad with maple vinaigrette on a serving plate

This recipe for pear, blue cheese, and walnut salad with a maple vinaigrette is a classic salad that is packed with so much flavour. Serve on a bed of rocket (arugula) to add pepperiness.

This recipe dates back to the beginning of my blog days and I featured it in my first cookbook. I needed to update the images and wanted to share a video of making it because it’s such a firm favourite. Here is the original image which I still kinda like and feel sentimentally attached to.

pear and blue cheese salad with a maple vinaigrette recipe

The combination of sweet crunchy pears with the umami-laden salty blue cheese is such a perfect flavour pairing.

A handful of raw walnuts give this salad a nutty flavour and amazing texture. Pears and walnuts are another delicious combination that worked perfectly with my pear tartines with blue cheese and honey. Walnuts were scattered over these too.

In the past I made a quick tortilla pizza Bianco using these ingredients to see how that would work. And work, it most certainly did.

Pear, blue cheese & walnut salad with maple vinaigrette recipe

This classic pear and blue cheese salad needed a pop of sweetness so I added maple syrup to a very simple vinaigrette. It’s a lovely salad dressing that would go perfectly with any salad that needs a dash of sweetness.

Make the salad up using any nice lettuce leaves you prefer if you don’t like arugula (rocket) or watercress.

What blue cheese to use in this pear salad?

You can use any blue cheese you like in this classic pear and blue cheese salad with walnuts. I love a local Gorgonzola-style cheese called Simonzola from Simonsberg.

If you are a fan of Roquefort cheese, this could work well too.

A few tips on how to make a pear & blue cheese salad

Pears brown quickly so cut them up just before serving. If you need to buy a bit of time, soak them in some slightly salty water or spritz over lemon juice. Do not add too much as it could alter the taste of the salad. You can give them a quick rinse and pat dry before assembling the salad.

Rocket (arugula) and watercress wilt easily so this is the kind of salad you should assemble just before serving.

To easily remove the cores before slicing the pears, use a melon baller.

A classic pear, blue cheese & walnut salad with maple vinaigrette recipe

A few salad recipes you might like:

Roast carrot and barley salad with pickled sultanas

Avocado and orange salad with fennel

Greek Panzanella salad

My favourite salads for a braai/BBQ

Dukkah baked pears with goat cheese & honey

Pear, blue cheese and walnut salad with a maple syrup vinaigrette

Print Recipe
pear and blue cheese salad with a maple vinaigrette recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 generous handfuls rocket leaves of your choice
  • 2 pears sliced
  • 150 g blue cheese broken into chunks
  • 50 g crushed walnuts for sprinkling

dressing

  • 60 ml olive oil 4 Tbs
  • 30 ml red wine vinegar 2 Tbs
  • 20 ml maple syrup 1 Tbs and 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt

Instructions

  • Place the salad ingredients in a bowl or arrange on a platter.
  • Mix the vinaigrette dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well before drizzling over the salad.

Notes

It’s best to make the salad just before serving as the pears go brown very quickly.
Servings: 4

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29 Comments

  1. Hi,

    What ingredient is the 3rd item in vinaigrette recipe – 20ml ?

  2. Oh thanks so much for catching that Michael, *oops* its the maple syrup.

  3. Thank you Paula for picking up my typo there (the joys of editing your own work), Your salad with oranges sounded quite interesting.

  4. The salad looks amazing, but I am really wondering where you got that super cute bowl?

  5. Oh my! This really tickles my fancy right now…I’m not a big fan of blue cheese though, but I think goat cheese would be a terrific addition. Love your site!!! (found you via Foodgawker!)

  6. Hi Nicole, I bought it at a logal interior shop. I love in Cape Town, South Africa and I see you are in Alaska. A part of the world I have always wanted to visit.
    Sam

  7. Hi Charissa, I think goats cheese will work out just as well. Enjoy!

  8. Joyce van Kampen says:

    Try the blue cheese and pear salad with caramelized pecan nuts and home made croutons, I have made it several times now and my guests thought it was a world class salad! Just melt brown sugar on low heat until it is starting to melt, then add the pecan nuts and stir for a few minutes ( take it of the heat if necessary) . Croutons: cut a french baguette, put olive oil on it and rub the garlic in, place it in the oven (180 degr.) and bake it until golden brown, crunch it into smaller pieces and drizzle over the salad.

  9. Wow Joyce your additions sound delicious. Thanks for sharing.
    Sam

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. I made this tonight and it was wonderful. Especially the dressing. It feels so good to eat a salad dressing that I know exactly how it was made and what’s in it.

  11. Hi Kasey, glad you enjoyed the recipe, it adds just a touch of sweetness 🙂

  12. I’ve eaten this 2 days in a row now and it is delicious! I used feta instead of blue cheese, and 100% pure maple syrup. Thanks so much for the great recipe!!!!

  13. Awesome Dena, glad you like. I made mine with maple syrup too.

  14. I plan on making this for a bridal shower, but I was wondering, how many people do you think the recipe would feed in the above quantities of ingredients?

    Thanks so much!

  15. Hi Joni – work on the following quantity to serve 4:
    2 generous handfuls of rocket (arugula) or other leaves
    2 pears sliced (so roughly 1/2 a pear per person)
    150g blue cheese (so around 30 – 40g) per person
    50g of crushed walnuts for sprinkling

    But add or subtract whatever you want to use more or less of.

    Enjoy and I hope the party goes well
    Sam

  16. I made this salad and salad dressing tonight and it was fabulous!! I will be making it again for sure!! Thank you!!

  17. Glad you enjoyed Jodi, thanks for leaving a message 🙂

  18. I found this on pinterest. I had it for lunch, it was wonderful. I didn’t have any blue cheese, so I added feta instead. Thank you for sharing

  19. I just made this for lunch – it was sensational and the MOTH is raving about it. I used Pecans from the Tweed Valley just down the road, our own lettuce and new season pears from Stanthorpe! The cheese was a Shropshire Blue – rich, yellow and creamy. The dressing was wonderful! Thank you!

  20. Hi Jan- all those ingredients sound amazing. Glad you liked

  21. I make this salad probably at least once every two weeks during the winter! Thank you so much for this recipe, it is our absolute favorite!!! It’s perfect.

  22. Thanks for the lovely feedback caroline – Im so glad you enjoy it.

  23. Diana Calderon says:

    Whipped this simple salad up along side our grilled ribeye steaks last night, I’d like to repeat that evening over and over again YUM.

  24. Im so glad you enjoyed it Diana 🙂

  25. 5 stars
    So glad you added this.. love the maple syrup dressing! I’ve made a version of this for years – bought the recipe book from a restaurant in Paris after tasting their salad with blue cheese, pear & pecan nuts together! It had one addition to yours.. red onion! It adds something special for me😊

  26. Thanks for the comment and I love the idea of red onions and pecan nuts too.

  27. shawn meyer says:

    Hi
    I tried to look everywhere but I can’t find anything on, for how many people the salad is prepared for – do I need to half it or double it for my number of guests ?
    S

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