pear & blue cheese salad with champagne vinaigrette

this is such a refreshing summer salad and one that i crave often.
maybe it’s the crisp pears. maybe it’s the creamy blue cheese.
methinks it’s probably the sweet & tart champagne vinaigrette that marries so perfectly with everything.

if possible, don’t substitute anything else for the champagne vinegar – it is so worth it.

pear & blue cheese salad with champagne vinaigrette

ingredients for the vinaigrette:

1 shallot, quartered

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

dash of ground white pepper

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil (or canola oil)

ingredients for salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed & torn into bite sized pieces

10 oz. mixed baby greens

2 ripe Bosc or Anjou pears, cored & cut into 3/4 inch dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed & sliced thinly

2 cups (1/2 lb.) blue cheese (maytag is best), crumbled


1. to make the vinaigrette: in a food processor, blend the shallot and garlic until finely minced. add the mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. process to combine the ingredients thoroughly. with the machine running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream to form an emulsion. taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

2. to assemble the salad: in a large bowl, combine the romaine, baby greens, pears, bell pepper, and blue cheese. add the vinaigrette (as much as you like/to taste) and toss gently to coat. add more dressing if needed.

: a chilled salad bowl or plate makes a big difference, keeping the salad cool & crisp. simply pop a few into the freezer or refrigerator before beginning to cook.

recipe courtesy nordstrom family & friends cookbook
photo via food network

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