This Pear and Gorgonzola Salad is a delicious winter salad that can be served as a side or as a lighter option for lunch or dinner. The creamy, strong gorgonzola cheese adds an extra layer of flavor to the sweet pan-fried pears and crunchy walnuts, with a maple dijon dressing!
If you're looking for a flavorful salad option, this Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with walnuts and maple dijon dressing is a must-make.
Gorgonzola cheese is a strong blue cheese with a great sharp flavor. It pairs well with the sweet pear in this salad and adds a lot of depth.
This easy salad is simple to put together - just toss buttered and cooked pear slices and gorgonzola cheese with greens, pomegranate seeds, and crunchy walnuts.
You'll then add a simple homemade maple dijon vinaigrette that gives the salad a sweet and tangy flavor to bring it all together.
This salad would be perfect for any holiday gathering! The festive colors make it look special, while the flavors are sure to please everyone at the table.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's festive and colorful making it perfect for the holidays or in the New Year.
- The flavors are simple and approachable so it will work as a side dish at any time of the year.
- The gorgonzola cheese is what really makes this salad stand out and is great for anyone new to blue cheese.
- It's easy to put together making it a simple decadent dish to prepare when you're short on time.
- A great way to use up holiday leftover pears and cheese.
For the dressing:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - this provides heart-healthy fats and the flavor to balance out the sweet maple syrup and tangy dijon mustard. It also helps create the liquid consistency of the dressing.
- Maple Syrup - This provides a touch of natural sweetness to the dressing and helps to balance out the flavors. You can also use honey to create the sweet element to the dressing.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - This provides that tangy flavor to the dressing. This component is optional but recommended!
- Dijon Mustard - This adds a bit of spice and bite to balance out any sweetness in this salad. It also helps thicken up the vinaigrette for added texture while coating all of your ingredients evenly.
- Salt & Pepper - Helps bring out all of the flavor components in the dressing enhancing all of the flavors.
For the salad:
- Chopped Walnuts - Adds a nice crunch and flavor to the salad. You can also use pecans, almonds, or any other nut you prefer.
- Ripe Pears - The pear adds a nice sweet component to balance out the gorgonzola cheese and nuts in this salad.
- Lettuce Greens - You can use any greens you prefer or have on hand such as mixed baby greens, spinach, arugula, etc.
- Butter - Adds richness and enhances the flavor of pear. You can also use olive oil or ghee for similar results if you prefer.
- Maple Syrup - This adds a nice natural sweetness and balances out the gorgonzola cheese. You can also use honey as an alternative.
- Gorgonzola Cheese - Adds a pungent salty flavor to the salad. You can also use blue cheese, cubed or crumbled.
- Pomegranate Seeds - Adds a pretty pop of color and a tart sweetness to the salad.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this Pear and Gorgonzola Salad recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the maple dijon dressing: Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl or a mason jar. Whisk to combine or cover and shake the jar until all of the ingredients are emulsified. Set aside.
Toast the walnuts: To a dry frying pan (no oil), add the walnuts over medium heat. Stir with a spatula for a few minutes and shake the pan until the walnuts are fragrant and golden.
Cook the pears: Prepare the pears by removing the core and cutting them into thick slices. Add the butter, maple syrup, and salt to the skillet. Once the butter is melted, add the pear slices and let them cook until the pears are golden and the liquid begins to bubble and reduce.
Assemble and serve: Evenly distribute the greens onto a large serving plate or individual dishes. Add the cooked pears, gorgonzola, and pomegranate seeds. Then drizzle with the dressing and serve.
Take care when toasting the walnuts as they can burn quickly.
Make sure your pears are ripe to get the best results for this recipe.
Don't skip on cooking the pear slices as it helps bring out their flavor and enhances all of the other flavors in this dish.
Cook the fried pears in a single layer in the skillet. You may need to cook them in batches. Add more butter and maple syrup as necessary.
The dressing will last in the fridge for up to a week. Shake or whisk it well before using. You can also make a double batch and store it in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge. It's great for salads, marinades, and even dipping sauces!
Try swapping the pears for apples or even fried bananas!
Serve alongside a colorful Stuffed Butternut Squash for the holidays.
Pairs well with a sweet and spicy side dish like these Maple Roasted Carrots with cayenne.
The sweet and tart flavors pair together when sipping a Mulled Wine Spritzer.
You could add in some crumbled bacon or diced apple for extra flavor and texture.
If gorgonzola cheese isn't your thing, you can use blue cheese, cubed or crumbled.
Feel free to swap out the pomegranate seeds with dried cranberries or cherries.
Use your favorite lettuce or greens in this recipe including romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce.
If you're looking for a vegan version of this salad, omit the gorgonzola cheese and use your favorite vegan-friendly crumble cheese or nut-based cheese. Try this vegan blue cheese recipe.
Instead of walnuts try using pecans, almonds, or any other nut you prefer.
Storing: This salad will last in the fridge for a few days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this pear and gorgonzola salad as it will affect the texture of the fresh ingredients.
Yes, you can. Just store the components separately and assemble them right before serving.
Any type of pear will work in this recipe. However, I find that Bosc or Anjou pears work the best.
Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe to be vegan by omitting the gorgonzola cheese and using your favorite vegan-friendly crumble cheese or nut-based cheese.
For this recipe, I recommend using a maple dijon dressing. However, you can use any type of vinaigrette or even store-bought salad dressing that has a sweet and tangy flavor.
More salad recipes
- Rossoli Finnish Beetroot Salad
- Greek Potato Salad
- Persian Rocca Salad
- Mango Salad with Lime Ginger Dressing
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Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the salad:
- ¾ cup walnuts (75 grams)
- 2 pears ripe but firm
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups mixed lettuce (250 grams)
- 4 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese cubed or crumbled
- 4 teaspoons pomegranate seeds
- First, make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together, or shaking in a jar. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking.
- Heat a dry skillet/frying pan (no oil) over a medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast for a few minutes, shaking the pan often, until fragrant and golden but not too dark. Careful, they’ll burn quickly. Set the walnuts aside.
- Core the pears and slice thickly.
- Add the butter, maple syrup and salt to the skillet and allow it to melt, then add the pear slices and let it cook and bubble until the pears turn golden and the syrup reduces, turning once. Cook in batches if necessary, adding a little more butter and syrup if required.
- Divide the lettuce between plates (or add it all to a serving dish), then add the pears, walnuts, gorgonzola and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.