Arugula salad with pears and gorgonzola on a plate.

November 14, 2022

Pear Gorgonzola Salad

Strong cheese and sweet fruit team up in this pear salad with arugula, Gorgonzola, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. It’s dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.

This simple pear Gorgonzola salad has big flavors that all work together in a cheese plate-inspired bowl of greens. Worthy of Thanksgiving or any other holiday table, this recipe is great for a weekday lunch salad too.

Pear gorgonzola salad on a plate.

Pick the season and I have a salad that involves fruit and greens. It is one of my favorite combinations because there is just something so wonderful about a savory salad with bites that are fresh and a touch sweet.

Why You Need This Recipe

Pears and blue cheese are a classic pairing. Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese that’s milder and softer than other varieties. This Italian cheese is made with cow’s milk. These ingredients may have very different tastes, but that’s why they have the perfect balance.

Pomegranate seeds are lovely in fall – winter salads. Besides the gorgeous color they add to any recipe, pomegranate seeds are a juicy accent with some texture and crunch.

This salad is easy and flexible.  You can switch the fruit, the type of lettuce or the nuts, and you will still end up with a great salad. Feel free to make substitutions and use what you have in your kitchen. Keep reading for ideas.

Best Pears for Salads

Pears range in from sweet and buttery to tart and crisp. Some are better for baking or making pear compote. While others are more suited to snacking and salads. For this pear salad recipe my picks are Bartlett pears, Comice, Bosc or Anjou.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients including pears, arugula, onions, walnuts, gorgonzola, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and parsley.

This is what you need:

  • Pears aren’t the only fruit that suits this salad. Apples like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady are good options if you are looking for a substitute.
  • Arugula is nice and peppery. Spinach, butter lettuce, baby kale or a spring mix will also work with these ingredients.
  • Gorgonzola: If you aren’t a fan of blue cheese, which I know can be you either love it or you don’t, try feta cheese or goat cheese instead.
  • Red onions, thinly sliced, are always a solid choice for salads. You can substitute with scallions.
  • Pomegranate seeds: You can buy a whole pomegranate at the grocery or in the refrigerated case of the produce section you can find containers of seeds. Dried cranberries are another option for that sweet tart flavor in the salad.
  • Walnuts: Make sure to toast the nuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree F oven for 5-7 minutes. Substitute with chopped almonds or pecans.
  • Balsamic vinegar is the base of the vinaigrette.
  • Whole grain mustard helps to emulsify the dressing, and it adds flavor. If you prefer not having seeds, then substitute with Dijon mustard.
  • Olive oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste.
  • Salt & pepper season the vinaigrette.

How To Make This Pear Gorgonzola Salad

1. Start by making the vinaigrette. Combine the mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk them together.

2. Assemble the salad ingredients. Use a big bowl for the arugula, pear slices, red onions, pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts, Gorgonzola and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette. Then combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Toss the salad, so everything is lightly dressed. Start slowly with vinaigrette. You can always add more.

Toss the salad in the dressing.

Serving

You can eat the salad as a side dish with an entrée or make the salad the main dish. If you want, you can add a protein like roasted chicken or a hardboiled egg.

Because of the weight of the pears and the delicate arugula, try arranging it on a large platter rather than a deep bowl. This way the goodies like the fruit, nuts and cheese won’t get lost.

Leftovers

If you plan on saving some of the salad for leftovers, wait to slice all the pears and do not toss the salad in the vinaigrette. This will prevent the arugula from becoming soggy. Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. The dressing should be kept in a separate jar.

FAQs

Do you need to peel pears before using them in a salad?

No. The peel adds structure to the sliced pears, so they hold their shape better when you mix them into the salad. Also, the texture of the peel is a good balance with soft pear flesh.

How do you prevent pears from turning brown?

Toss the cut pears in lemon juice to prolong their bright white flesh and slow down browning. 

More Pear Recipes

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Pears
Pear Manchego Salad
Kale Brussels Sprout Salad with Pears
Pear Blue Cheese Focaccia

Did you make this lovely fall – winter salad? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Pear salad on a plate.

Pear Gorgonzola Salad with Arugula

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Strong cheese and sweet fruit team up in this pear salad with arugula, Gorgonzola, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. It’s dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.


Ingredients

Scale
  • For vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For salad
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 3 pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, pears, red onions, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, gorgonzola and parsley.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Toss to combine.

Notes

The best pears for salads are Bartlett, Comice or Bosc.

Instead of arugula for lettuce, you can substitute with baby spinach or kale, butter lettuce or a spring green mix.

To toast the walnuts, put them on a sheet pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes.

If you are going to save the salad, wait to slice the pears. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. If possible, do not toss leftovers in the vinaigrette. Also, store the vinaigrette in a separate container. 

Keywords: pear salad, pear gorgonzola salad

Originally published January 13, 2020. Updated: November 14, 2022.

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating