APPETIZERS/ SALADS

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Hello and welcome! Let’s kick off this week with an easy side dish that could be a main dish for two, if you’re eating a light supper. Bartlett pears are coming into season and I found some juicy ripe fruits at the supermarket. Today’s Pear and Gorgonzola Salad probably sounds familiar to you – my version also has toasted pecans, blanched green beans, fresh tarragon and a balsamic vinaigrette. Perfect as a side to any protein you have in mind, let’s get right to it!

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The Prep

Start by setting a saucepan with a few cups of water to boil. While you’re waiting for that, toast about 1/2 cup of pecan pieces in a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Shake them as they toast. Season the pecans with a pinch of salt and as soon as they become fragrant (maybe 2 minutes) take them off the heat and let them cool in the pan.

Prepare an ice bath for the green beans. I am using about 6-8 ounces of snipped green beans. If your green beans still have the stem ends, be sure to trim and rinse the green beans before blanching. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the boiling water and drop in the green beans. Let them boil for only about 2 minutes. Just until they turn brighter green and slightly soften. Then use tongs to transfer the green beans directly to the ice bath. They can stay in the ice bath until we are ready to put them on the salad.

Balsamic Dressing

I am making extra dressing to keep in the fridge. Measuring the ingredients right into a measuring cup or jar with measurements on the sides means I don’t need to dirty more than one measuring cup. This is really simple: 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Whisk this together until emulsified and thickened slightly. Add more Dijon if you want it thicker.

Build the Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Gather your ingredients and have them close at hand, we will build this as a composed salad. I like to use the living butter lettuce head, so just slice off the roots and lay the leaves like little cups on the serving plate.

Then, gather the green beans out of the ice bath and cut them (a small bunch at a time) in half. Scatter about half of the green beans around on the lettuce.

I am using 1 ripe Bartlett Pear, which I trimmed and cored, then sliced thinly. So your pear slices don’t go brown, sprinkle the sliced pear with lemon juice. Then lay the pear slices around the the lettuce and green beans. Now, scatter the last of the green beans on top. With a composed salad, we are looking for an even, harmonious placement of color and texture.

After the last of the green beans are placed, scatter the toasted pecans evenly around. Follow the pecans with crumbles of the Gorgonzola.

So as not to be too heavy handed with the dressing, use a large spoon to drizzle the dressing over the salad. Finish with fresh tarragon leaves.

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And there we have it! A beautifully composed Pear and Gorgonzola Salad. I feel like this salad has one foot in summer and one foot in autumn – a perfect salad for this moment. What will you serve alongside this salad? Balsamic Roasted Chicken, or Prosciutto Wrapped Fish would be great protein mains. That’s it for today, take care and be well! xo Kelly

Easy Salad, Quick Side Dish, Composed Salad, How to Compose a Salad, How to make a composed salad, autumn salad, fall salad, pear salad, gorgonzola, end of summer salad, beautiful side dish, salad, salad side

Salad Serveware

Easy Salad, Quick Side Dish, Composed Salad, How to Compose a Salad, How to make a composed salad, autumn salad, fall salad, pear salad, gorgonzola, end of summer salad, beautiful side dish, salad, salad side

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

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Side Dish, Appetizer, Salad American
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: ~20 Minutes Cooking Time: NA Total Time: ~20 Minutes

A great variety of texture with crunchy toasted pecans, juicy Bartlett pears, blanched green beans, creamy gorgonzola and tangy balsamic.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Pecan Pieces
  • Drizzle Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt, for the pecans
  • 6-8 oz. Green Beans, trimmed and washed
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt, for the green beans
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3-4 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Head of Living Butter Lettuce
  • 1 Bartlett Pear
  • Sprinkle Lemon Juice, to keep the pears from turning brown
  • 1/4 cup Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh Tarragon leaves, torn into pieces

Instructions

1

Start by setting a saucepan with a few cups of water to boil.

2

Toast about 1/2 cup of pecan pieces in a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Shake them as they toast. Season the pecans with a pinch of salt and as soon as they become fragrant (maybe 2 minutes) take them off the heat and let them cool in the pan.

3

Prepare an ice bath for the green beans.

4

Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the boiling water and drop in the green beans. Let them boil for only about 2 minutes. Just until they turn brighter green and slightly soften. Then use tongs to transfer the green beans directly to the ice bath. They can stay in the ice bath until we are ready to put them on the salad.

5

Whisk the balsamic, oil and Dijon mustard together until emulsified and thickened slightly. Add more Dijon if you want it thicker.

Build the Salad

6

Lay the butter lettuce leaves upturned, like little cups on the serving plate.

7

Gather the green beans out of the ice bath and cut them (a small bunch at a time) in half. Scatter about half of the green beans around on the lettuce.

8

Trim and core the pear, then slice thinly. So your pear slices don't go brown, sprinkle the sliced pear with lemon juice.

9

Then lay the pear slices around the the lettuce and green beans.

10

Now, scatter the last of the green beans on top. With a composed salad, we are looking for an even, harmonious placement of color and texture.

11

After the last of the green beans are placed, scatter the toasted pecans evenly around. Follow the pecans with crumbles of the Gorgonzola.

12

So as not to be too heavy handed with the dressing, use a large spoon to drizzle the dressing over the salad.

13

Finish with scattering the fresh tarragon leaves.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Donna
    September 12, 2022 at 8:36 am

    We received pears this month from Harry & David. They are wonderful! Funny aside, the last two months the raccoons got our boxes plus some Kasseri cheese I ordered. The pleasures of living in rural Tennessee. I do love your recipes, but have to order some ingredients that Piggley Wiggly doesn’t carry. I know you must spend a lot of time on these wonderful recipes.
    Thank you,

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      September 12, 2022 at 9:51 am

      Hi Donna, rambunctious raccoons! I too have to order certain items that I cannot find locally, here in Athens. I am so happy you enjoy the recipes! Thank you for stopping by and sharing today, xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Mari
    September 12, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Perfect! It would go well with anything, but I like salads as my maim course with nothing else. T looks so beautiful, and I really like the serving dish in the picture. It’s perfection. Years ago, to a country house in suburban Chicago in late August. It was a lovely rambling old house and it came with a pear tree and a ghost. Helpful hint: if the landlords drop by with apples and tomatoes from their garden, every day for the first two weeks, there is something wrong with the house! Especially if they keep looking nervously around and asking if everything is alright. I made a lot of pies that year, and they were lovely. There was also a tiny fresh produce stand across the road from our house. A very sweet old Italian man ran the stand and he would always give me a free bouquet of the loveliest flowers. Their actual shop was two blocks away and I always bought my produce there. They were the nicest people, and it was a lovely time in our lives, except for the ghost. We coexisted peacefully with him, and he didn’t bother us unless someone went up to his space. Then he was scary. Closer to Halloween, I’ll tell you more. I don’t even think this lovely salad would have deterred him. If I were a ghost, I would love it. 😊. Happily middling, rainy Monday to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the three musketeers.

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      September 12, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Oh, a real ghost story! I can’t wait to hear more! I am sure you will enjoy this salad, Mari. You have so many interesting stories, I am so glad you share them with us. Have a great Monday, stay dry! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Terry
    September 12, 2022 at 10:29 am

    I love this salad, so lite and refreshing. You can’t go wrong with pears and Gorgonzola cheese… one of my favorite pizzas is pear Gorgonzola. Yes I will make this have a great Monday ❤️🤗 mom

  • Reply
    Ángela
    September 12, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Thanks, this is going to be our dinner today!

  • Reply
    Sally Burke
    September 12, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Kellly
    This is a great salad although I would have to choose another cheese as my husband doesn’t particularly like the stronger flavoured cheeses. Probably would go for goats cheese. We always have Bartlett pears in our fruit bowl, for me, usually having for breakfast, I have tried other types and other than perhaps the Boer Bosc (probably not the correct spelling) Bartlett wins hands down.
    Happy cooking 🧑‍🍳
    Sally 🤗

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      September 13, 2022 at 8:53 am

      Hi Sally, I love Bartlett pears, too! Goat cheese is s perfect substitute for the gorgonzola. I am sure you both will really enjoy this salad. Have a great week! xo Kelly

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