Pear Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) walnut halves

2 heads Belgian endive, trimmed, cut crosswise on a bias into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, and separated into rings

1 medium head radicchio, torn into 1-inch pieces

2 bunches watercress, tough stems discarded

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Walnut Vinaigrette, recipe follows

8 ounces Gorgonzola (preferably sweet or dolce latte), Stilton, or Roquefort cheese, either crumbled or cut into 18 pieces each about 1-inch square

2 ripe D'Anjou or Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper

Walnut Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons imported walnut oil 

Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, crisp, and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Gotham Presentation: Toss salad with vinaigrette. Mound the dressed salad greens in the centers of 6 chilled dinner plates. On each plate, arrange 3 cheese cubes. Stand 2 or 3 of the pear slices up in each piece, fanning out the pear slices decoratively. Place a whole toasted walnut on top of each cheese wedge. Everyday Presentation: Coarsely chop the walnuts and use the crumbled cheese. In a large bowl, combine the endive, radicchio, watercress, and parsley. Drizzle with the vinaigrette to lightly coat everything. Add the crumbled cheese, toasted walnuts, and pear slices, and season with salt and pepper. Toss well and serve immediately.

Walnut Vinaigrette:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard until combined. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk well before using.
  2. Yield: about 1 cup