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This Pear Walnut Blue Cheese Salad is a fresh and delicious mixed green salad with candied walnuts, freshly sliced pear, a homemade salad dressing, and topped with a crumble of blue cheese. Try it soon!
If you're are craving more delicious salad recipes, be sure to try making a loaded Ranch BLT Salad or a hearty Greek Chicken Salad. Both of these tasty salads are filling enough to enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Salads can usually end up in one of two ways. It is either boring with lettuce and a couple of tomatoes that officially make it a salad and not just a pile of lettuce or it's full of intense flavor, texture, and lots of good stuff. Of course, I prefer the latter kind of salad instead and this pear walnut blue cheese salad is indeed that kind of salad.
First priority is eating a salad that is full of intense flavor. Plus buttery candied crunchy walnuts combined with sweet juicy sliced fresh pears, tangy dried cranberries, and topped with a crumble of blue cheese...I'm in!
Why This Salad?
The base and texture of this salad is a bag of your favorite mixed salad greens. I choose to use a mixture of baby spinach, arugula, and radicchio. I love the combination of these three together and it makes me feel like I am eating a healthier salad that is loaded with tasty greens and various textures.
But no, no, no it does not just stop there because this salad is also tossed with a homemade salad dressing that is super easy to make, light, and not overpowering. All you need to make this salad dressing is the juice of a lemon, some lemon zest, olive oil, a clove of garlic, salt, and Dijon mustard.
Add all of those ingredients into a blender or food processor and process everything together until it is comes out creamy and smooth. This is a simple flavorful salad dressing that only takes minutes to make and can be used on any salad that you plan to make in the future.
So much flavor is packed into this salad that it could never be boring and is totally delicious. Try it!
- Mixed salad greens - Select your favorite mix of salad greens for this recipe. I prefer to use a mix with spinach, arugula, and radicchio.
- Fresh pears - Grab two fresh pears for this salad. Any that you prefer will work, but I love using green anjou or bartlett.
- Candied walnuts - You may be tempted to use the premade candied walnuts, but it literally takes minutes to make your own.
- Dried cranberries - Add a tangy component and more texture to the salad and blends well with the other flavors.
- Blue cheese crumbles - Pairs amazingly well with the walnut and pear flavors. Just a small amount sprinkled on top is enough, feel free to substitute goat cheese crumbles if you prefer.
- Lemon, juice and zest - Add acid and citrus to the homemade dressing.
- Olive oil - The base of the homemade salad dressing. Extra virgin olive oil is perfect!
- Garlic - Minced garlic added to the salad dressing.
- Dijon mustard - For a tangy flavor punch to the salad dressing.
- Salt - Brings out the other ingredient flavors in the dressing. Try sea salt or any that you prefer or have on hand.
Using a medium skillet on medium-high heat, add in the butter and once it begins to melt add in the sugar, water, and walnuts to make the candied walnuts. This step is optional, you could use premade, but this quick version is so much better.
Stir continuously for about 5 minutes and transfer the candied walnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single even layer and allow them to cool and harden.
In a blender or food processor, add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and salt. Blend or pulse until the salad dressing is completely smooth.
Clean and dry the package of mixed salad greens. Place the prepared greens into a large bowl and begin to assemble the whole salad. Clean and slice the pears and add on top of the salad greens. Add in the candied walnuts and dried cranberries.
Drizzle on as much of the salad dressing as you would prefer and toss the salad until everything comes together. Top with the blue cheese crumbles and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Store any leftover salad mix separate from the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. There may be extra salad dressing left, store in the refrigerator as well in an airtight container or jar with a lid for up to 7 days.
Pear Walnut Blue Cheese Salad
- Candied Walnuts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup walnuts
- Salad Dressing
- Juice of a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces mixed salad greens package
- 2 fresh pears, sliced
- 1 cup candied walnuts
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)
- Using a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add in the 1 tablespoon butter and once it begins to melt add in the ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and 1 cups walnuts.
- Stir continuously for about 5 minutes and transfer the candied walnuts to a parchment lined baking sheet in a single even layer and allow them to cool and harden, about 15 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, add in the lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, 1 clove of garlic, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and blend or pulse until the salad dressing is completely smooth.
- Clean and dry the 5 ounce package of mixed salad greens. Place into a large bowl to assemble the salad. Clean and slice the 2 pears and add on top of the salad greens. Add in the 1 cup of candied walnuts and ⅓ cup dried cranberries.
- Drizzle on as much of the salad dressing as you would like and toss the salad until everything comes together. Top with the ⅓ cup blue cheese and serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- There may be extra salad dressing left, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or jar up to 7 days.
*All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Original post date 01/13/2017. Updated 08/28/2020 & 11/03/2021.
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Have any comments, questions, or other delicious ideas for this Pear Walnut Blue Cheese Salad? Please share them in the comments below!