This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Pear and Gorgonzola Salad is vibrant, easy-to-prepare and truly stands out in both flavor and presentation. It’s ideal for those busy days when you need a quick but impressive meal, whether it’s for a cozy family dinner or a festive holiday meal. Ready in just 15 minutes, this salad is a lifesaver for anyone looking for a gourmet touch without spending much time in the kitchen.
This recipe pairs the sweet crispness of pears with rich and creamy Gorgonzola cheese for an alluring contrast. The baby arugula base adds a fresh, peppery dimension that complements the other elements beautifully. The dressing, a Shallot Vinaigrette, is a simple, flavorful blend of white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and minced shallot that ties everything together with its zesty notes. Topped with crunchy walnuts, this salad is a celebration of simple, fresh ingredients coming together in perfect harmony.
Table of Contents
Ingredients You Need to Make Pear Gorgonzola Salad
- White Wine Vinegar: Look for a vinegar that has a clear, bright acidity but isn’t too harsh.
- Lemon: Choose lemons that are firm with a bright, smooth skin and heavy for their size, a good sign of juiciness.
- Dijon Mustard: Opt for a Dijon mustard that has a creamy texture and a sharp, strong flavor.
- Shallot: Look for shallots that are firm, heavy, and free from sprouts or soft spots.
- Olive Oil: Choose an extra virgin olive oil with a fruity, grassy aroma and a well-balanced flavor.
- Baby Arugula: Look for fresh, vibrant green leaves. They should be crisp and free from wilting or yellowing.
- Pears: Choose pears that are ripe but firm, with a fragrant aroma. They should yield slightly to pressure, indicating juiciness and sweetness without being overly soft.
- Gorgonzola Cheese: Choose a Gorgonzola that is creamy with a robust, but not overpowering, blue cheese flavor. It should crumble easily for even distribution.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Balance the Dressing: When making the Shallot Vinaigrette, taste as you go. The key is achieving a balance between the acidity of the vinegar and lemon juice and the richness of the olive oil.
- Toss Gently: When adding the dressing to the arugula, toss gently. Overmixing can cause the delicate baby arugula leaves to wilt or become soggy.
- Slice Pears Thinly: Thinly slice the pears for an elegant presentation and to be sure they integrate well and don’t overwhelm the other salad components.
- Toast Walnuts for Extra Flavor: If time allows, lightly toast the walnuts before adding them to the salad. This enhances their flavor and adds a wonderful crunch.
- Crumble Gorgonzola Freshly: Crumble the Gorgonzola cheese yourself rather than buying pre-crumbled cheese. Freshly crumbled cheese tends to be softer and more flavorful.
- Dress Just Before Serving: To maintain the salad’s freshness and prevent wilting, add the dressing to the arugula right before serving. This step is crucial to keep the salad crisp and vibrant, for the best texture and flavor.
Advance Prep and Storage Tips
Store the individual components of the salad separately if you’re prepping in advance. Dressing can be refrigerated in a sealed jar; Gorgonzola and walnuts should be kept in airtight containers.To prevent the sliced pears from browning, either slice them fresh just before serving or, if storing, lightly coat them in lemon juice and place in an airtight container. Remember to toss the arugula with the dressing when you’re ready to serve to prevent sogginess.
More Must-Try Salad Recipes
- Shallot Vinaigrette
- Arugula Apple Salad
- Zucchini Salad
- Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad
- 80+ Best Salad Recipes
How to Make Pear and Gorgonzola Salad
Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and shallot in a bowl, then slowly add olive oil, whisking until emulsified; season with salt and pepper. Toss arugula with half the dressing in a large bowl, then arrange on a platter.
Add pear slices, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts before serving.
Pear and Gorgonzola Salad
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from about 1/2 a small lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 2 small pears your favorite variety, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- 2 ounces walnuts toasted if desired and coarsely chopped, see recipe note #1
- Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and shallot together in a medium bowl. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place arugula in a large bowl; drizzle with about half of the dressingand toss well to coat.
- Transfer salad to serving platter and tuck pear slices into dressed arugula so that they're visible and well distributed. Spoon or drizzle desired amount of remaining dressing over salad and pear slices. Evenly sprinkle gorgonzola cheese and walnuts over salad and serve.
- Toast walnut halves on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350˚F for 8 to 10 minutes, checking often. Coarsely chop once they’re cool enough to handle.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.