Friday, October 13, 2017

Pear, Walnut, and Bleu Cheese Salad

Pears are a fruit I definitely don't eat often enough.  It's so easy for me to get distracted by the wide variety of apples available this time of year, that I completely overlook pears!  My mistake - and definitely one to correct with this salad.  Pick up a couple of ripe, sweet pears and your favorite bleu cheese this week, and dig into this salad - it's a classic way to feature this oft-overlooked fruit!

YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large, firm but ripe red or green pears, diced
  • 4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 4-8 oz mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

  1. Make the champagne vinaigrette: combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and oil in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer the pear, bleu cheese, and mixed greens in the jars.  Divide the walnuts evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with walnuts.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite store-bought champagne vinaigrette in place of the homemade dressing.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and gluten-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute agave for the honey in the dressing, and your favorite vegan bleu cheese or cultured tofu product for the dairy cheese.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seeds or pepitas for the walnuts.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

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