This gorgonzola and pear salad combines crispy Romaine lettuce with peppery arugula, creamy gorgonzola cheese, sweet pear and pecans. The flavours of this sweet and savoury salad are balanced with a honey mustard dressing.
At first glance, it looks like this salad has a lot of conflicting flavours by combining sweet, savoury, peppery, spicy and creamy. I can tell you this much though, it really works. This salad has a lot of bold flavours, but together they are in perfect harmony. You will make this pear and gorgonzola salad over and over again, because it’s that good. On top of that, it’s really quick and easy to make. In just a few minutes, you will have a tasty dish ready to serve as a light meal.
Which ingredients to use
This gorgonzola and pear salad only requires a handful of ingredients and hardly any cooking is required. Cooking you say? Don’t worry, the only cooking that is required is to toast the pecans and that only takes 2 minutes.
- Pear: Use a pear that is ripe and slightly soft and juicy, they have a nice sweet flavour. I have used a Conference pear for this recipe, but you can use any variety of pear that is in season. Some other pear varieties you can use are Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc and Doyenné du Comice.
- Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola is a creamy Italian blue cheese that pairs very well with various sweet fruits. I have used the soft and creamy variety of gorgonzola which is mild in flavour but with a slight hint of spicy.
- Romaine lettuce: The crispy leaves of Romain lettuce are great with the soft texture of the cheese and pears. It will provide some extra crunch to the salad.
- Arugula or rocket: Adding some arugula gives a peppery and tangy flavour to the salad.
- Pecans: Toasting pecans for a few minutes lifts the flavour and brings out the nutty aroma. Pecans also add some extra crunch.
How to make the salad
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The vinaigrette should complement the flavours of the salad ingredients and not overpower them. I use a homemade honey mustard salad dressing. Find the honey mustard dressing recipe here or follow the instructions below:
- Olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
- White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
First whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Then, gradually whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing more creamy.
pear and gorgonzola salad
First toast the pecan nuts in a dry pan for 2 minutes while stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, or use individual plates or bowls. Drizzle the salad dressing over and toss to coat.
Pear salad recipe variations
- Can I replace the gorgonzola cheese? You can use any other blue cheese, like Roquefort or Stilton. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can use feta cheese, goat cheese, Brie or Camembert.
- Which other nuts to use? You can replace the pecans with walnuts or raw unsalted cashews, but whichever nut you use should be slightly toasted to enhance the flavours.
- Can I use different lettuce? You can use any other lettuce in this salad or use a mix of different lettuce leaves.
- Can I add more fruit? I would not use other fruit so as to let the pear flavour shine in this dish. You can however add raisins, sultanas or dried cranberries as additional fruit and to add some subtle extra sweetness to the salad.
- Can I add protein? Yes, you can add protein but I would limit it to bacon strips, cured ham or prosciutto.
Looking for more salad recipes? Get some inspiration here.
- Fresh fig and feta salad with pomegranate
- Little gem lettuce with anchovy and red bell pepper
- Endive salad with apple, ham and feta
- Watermelon salad with feta and cucumber
Pear and gorgonzola salad with roasted pecans
For the salad
- 2 cups (or 100 g) Romaine lettuce torn into small pieces
- 2 cups (or 50 g) Arugula or Rocket lettuce
- 1 pear cored and cut in to bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 50 grams) Gorgonzola cheese cubed
- 2 tablespoons pecans chopped
For the vinaigrette dressing
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small mixing bowl, add the mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add the olive oil and whisk well to combine.
- Toast the pecans in a dry pan on medium heat for 2 minutes.
- In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce leaves, arugula, pear, gorgonzola and pecans. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- You can serve in a large salad bowl or use individual bowls or plates.
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