Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans

So if you’ve been with us since the beginning (or if you’ve dug through our archives), you might remember our Candied Apple Walnut Salad, the one that promises to make a blue cheese lover out of even the greatest skeptic. This salad is very similar, only a little more fall-y. So even though we’ve only recently hit slightly cooler temperatures (and only then because we’ve been hammered by Tropical Storm Lee), I’m totally in fall mode and pears just speak to me in a very fall-ish way.  Not literally–that would be weird.

This is a great little side salad that is a great transition from summer into cooler temperatures–you could serve it at, say, a Labor Day potluck with grilled goodies or you could serve it alongside your favorite roast beef or pork. You could also add strips of grilled chicken to make and serve larger portions as a dinner salad.

For the dressing, you’ll need red wine vinegar, 1/4 c. minced onion, sugar, coarse-grained mustard (in true Kate fashion, I used Creole mustard), 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You’ll also need your imaginations because I forgot to take pictures of the dressing. Can we still be friends?

Combine the vinegar, minced onion, sugar, mustard, garlic, and salt in the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until combined. Season with black pepper to taste and refrigerate.

For the salad, you’ll need a head of Romaine lettuce, 3 pears, 4-5 ounces of crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese, 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and diced, white sugar, and chopped pecans.

Spray a sheet of foil or parchment with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a small, nonstick skillet (if possible), combine the sugar and chopped nuts. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and coats the nuts evenly in syrup. Spread the candied nuts onto the prepared sheet of foil/parchment and allow to cool completely.

While the nuts are cooling, chop the lettuce and place it in a large salad bowl.

Seed and dice the pears and toss them with the diced avocados with the lettuce.

Add the candied nuts and crumbled cheese…

and drizzle it with the dressing.

Toss to combine and serve immediately.

This will serve about 4-6 as a main dish and 8-10 as a side dish.



  1. Yes, we can still be friends. Just thought I’d let you know, to ease your mind. Wouldn’t want you worrying about it all day.

  2. Sounds great! I always love me a good salad, and this looks divine! Do you have any additional suggestions for candying the pecans? I have other salad recipes that call for this, and mine just never turn out right. They’re either burned, or the sugar is still crystalized.

    1. I’ve always used goat cheese in the apple pecan salad and it worked really well, I bet it would be good in this one too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.