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Pear Salad with blue cheese


Pear Salad with blue cheese

This Pear Salad is a stellar combination of flavours reminiscent of your favourite cheeseboard: juicy pear with piquant pops of blue cheese, toasty walnuts and a Honey Mustard Dressing. Peppery rocket (arugula) is an ideal refreshing contrast to use as the leafy base.

This is an excellent salad option for a starter, or as a stylish side salad!

Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula in a serving bowl, ready to be eaten

Pear Salad with Blue Cheese

This is a salad that’s all about classic and natural pairings, things we *always* see on cheeseboards. That’s because they just work so well together, yet you may not have thought about combining them in a salad. Combos like:

✓ Fruit and blue cheese

✓ Fruit and honey

✓ Fruit and nuts

✓ Cheese, honey and nuts (have I covered all combos there? 😂)

Oh, plus some leafy greens. This transforms our “cheese board” into a salad!

It’s a delicious way to use pears when they’re in season for something other than dessert (such as this Pear Pistachio Tart or this Pear Blue Cheese Slice). It’s also one that blue cheese lovers can get excited about! 🙋🏻‍♀️

Fork picking up Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula

What goes in Pear Salad with Blue Cheese

Here’s what goes into this Pear Salad:

Ingredients in Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula


I actually use 1 1/2 pears which for me is a nice amount for a whole package of rocket/arugula (standard size 120g / 4oz which is around 5 packed cups). If you want a more pear-forward salad, feel free to use more pears, it’s really up to you.

Best type of pears – Use any variety you want, as long as they’re ripe. I used Beurre Bosc pears (the ones with the cinnamon-coloured skin) which are fairly common and good value here in Australia when in season. Packham, Josephine, Corella Pears, even nashi pears – they all work.

Close up of pear slices for Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula
Sliced Beurre Bosc pears for this Pear Salad.

Blue Cheese

Best to use one that is slightly creamy but still firm enough to be crumbled, like pictured. As a key ingredient in this salad, the better the cheese, the better the dish! Here are my favourites:

  1. Roquefort – Made from sheep’s milk, this famous French cheese is creamy enough to be spreadable but firm enough to crumble. This is my favourite to use for most blue cheese salads. Other French blues I like to use: St Agur, Fourme d’Ambert, Bleu d’Auvergne. These are sold at most Harris Farms and some Woolies these days (Australia).

  2. Gorgonzola – An Italian blue that ranges in texture based on variety, from ultra creamy to more crumbly. I like gorgonzola piccante (90 days aged, creamier, most rounded flavour), followed by the better value gorgonzola dolce (60 days aged, milder, and excellent value for money).

  3. British Stilton – Slightly sharper than the above two, this cheese is not for the faint hearted! Try to get an aged one for a smoother flavour.

More options: Danish blue cheese is also a good option for a better value option. And for those who are new to blue cheese, Blue Castello is a good one to start with (the most mild, and good value). Australia also produces some excellent blues these days that are not hard to find like those from King Island.

Avoid blue cheese that is like brie (ie. too creamy to crumble on salad) or really firm and crumbly ones, which are too crumbly to stick to the salad ingredients (they just fall to bottom of bowl).

Rocket (arugula)

I think this peppery lettuce is ideal for this salad because the sharp flavour contrasts nicely with all the other tastes going on. A more neutral leafy green, like baby spinach, wouldn’t really bring anything to this dish in my view.


Walnuts is a classic choice for a blue cheese salad. Though actually, other nuts will work just as well like almonds, pecans, hazelnuts. I wouldn’t use peanuts (bit odd, I think?) or macadamia nuts (maybe too rich with blue cheese).

Honey Mustard Dressing for Pear Salad

Honey Mustard Dressing for Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula

I opted for a Honey Mustard Dressing here because honey with pears, walnuts and cheese is a classic pairing. Sweet, savoury, nutty, creamy, juicy – it pushes all the right buttons!

  • Honey – For the flavour, sweetness and to thicken the dressing.

  • Dijon mustard – Also to help thicken and emulsify the dressing while adding a touch of tang and flavour.

  • Cider vinegar – The main tanginess in the dressing. Any mild(ish) vinegar will work in its place – white wine vinegar, champagne or sherry vinegar,

  • Extra virgin olive oil (or ordinary olive oil) – The better the oil, the better the dressing! If you have flavoured nut oils like hazelnut or walnut oil, they’d also be wonderful to use instead here.

Drizzling Honey Mustard Dressing over Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula

What to serve with Pear Salad

As a starter

This is a salad that’s ideal for serving as a starter. Never underestimate the power of a good salad as a starter! If it’s interesting enough like this and has a bit of wow factor, it sets a great tone for the rest of the meal.


As a meal, serve it with a side of home-made bread if you would like to a light but satisfying meal:

As a side salad

As a side salad, because the blue cheese makes it quite rich (even though each serving only as a little crumble) try to serve it with something that doesn’t have an overwhelmingly strong sauce. Otherwise, you’ll just have too many flavours competing on your plate – and we want this salad to shine!

Here are some suggestions:

Enjoy! – Nagi x

PS No video today as it’s a “easy salad day” where I’m sharing 3 fairly straight forward recipes (this salad, Roasted Large Mushrooms with Green Onion Thyme Butter and Chargrill Charlie’s Copycat Japanese Slaw). But if you really want a video for this one, just leave a comment below and I’ll do it when I get a chance!

Close up photo of Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket Arugula


Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Rocket

Classic combination of ingredients, cheeseboard favourites transformed in salad form with the addition of pepper rocket lettuce!

Ideal to serve as a starter, light lunch or as a side for a main that’s not too rich.

We go light on the dressing here because the blue cheese and juice from the pears act as part of the dressing. See Note 1 for my recommende blue cheeses.

Course Side Salad
Cuisine Western
Keyword blue cheese salad, pear and blue cheese salad, pear salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 5 – 6 as a side
Calories 266cal
Author Nagi


  • 1 1/2 – 2 pears , any type, juicy and ripe (or nashi pears or sweet apples)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts , whole (sub almonds, pecans)
  • 120g / 4oz rocket/arugula lettuce
  • 120g / 4 oz roquefort, gorgonzola, stilton or other good blue cheese, creamy but can be crumbled into chunks (Note 1)

Honey Mustard Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Dressing: Shake Dressing in a jar.
  • Pears: Halve then scoop out core. Place cut face down and slice into 3mm / 0.12″ slices. (Note 2)
  • Walnuts: Spread on tray and toast in a 180°C/350°F oven for 8 minutes or until they smell nutty. Leave some whole, break some in half with hands.
  • Dress rocket: In a large bowl, toss rocket with 2 tbsp Dressing.
  • Assemble: Pile 1/3 rocket on a platter. Scatter with 1/3 pears, 1/3 walnuts, 1/3 blue cheese crumbled into small chunks. Repeat twice more. Drizzle with remaining Dressing just before serving.


1. Blue cheese – Look for a blue that is creamy so it sticks to the salad but still firm enough to crumble into chunks with your fingers (though your fingers will be smeared with blue cheese!). Blue brie is too creamy, cheddar-like ones are too hard – they just end up at bottom of bowl.

My favourite (in order): Roquefort (other French blues I like: St Agur, Fourme d’Ambert), Gorgonzola Piccante, Gorgonzola Dolce, good British Stilton. For a good value option, opt for a Danish. If you’re blue cheese-shy, Blue Castello is a safe bet – very mild.

Generally with cheese, you get what you pay for.

2. Slicing pears – The slices should not be paper thin, or even so thin they completely “flop”. They should have a slight bend when picked up with a fork, as pictured in post. But they should not be so thick that they crack when you stab with a fork!

Amount to use: 1 1/2 pears is the perfect amount to me for the specified amount of rocket. If you want a more pear forward salad, use more.

Stop pears browning: If not assembling in 30 min, drizzle lightly with lemon juice to stop them from going brown.


Calories: 266cal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1mg

Life of Dozer

Dozer, the warm glow of sunset is flattering on you! If only your snout wasn’t covered in slobber splatters and you didn’t have a speck of eye snot on your cheek…… 😝

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