Pear, Blue Cheese & Watercress Salad

by Lynne on January 16, 2011

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This Pear, Blue Cheese & Watercress Salad is my favorite sweet little starter salad. Actually, my mouth is watering as I write this, thinking about the sweet pear juices with the salty buttery cheese and peppery watercress. If you are having an elegant dinner party, where you are plating each course, this is the perfect little plate to begin your feast. The salt and pepper on the pears is really an  interesting flavor combination, and the lemon juice and blue cheese get your taste buds singing in anticipation for the dishes to follow.

If you can find Comice pears, definitely use them in this recipe. Bartlett will work, but in my opinion, Comice is the Queen of Pears. They’re juicy and sweet, and seem to melt in your mouth. Pears are never allowed to ripen on the tree, so be sure to buy them unripe, take them home and put them in a paper bag for a few days. Pears ripen from the core outward, so if the outside is soft, it is already too ripe and should only be used in cooking and baking. To test for ripeness, press the flesh near the stem and if it yields slightly, it’s ready.

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Pear, Blue Cheese & Watercress Salad

Serves 4

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 ripe Comice or Bartlett pears
1 bunch of watercress, large stems removed, washed and dried
4 ounces blue cheese, such as Maytag or Stilton, crumbled

1. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil until emulsified. Whisk in the salt and pepper.

2. Peel, halve and core the pears, then slice lengthwise ½ inch thick. Fold the pears into the dressing and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Add the watercress to the pears, toss well and arrange on 4 plates.

4. Sprinkled the crumbled blue cheese over salad. Serve.

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{ 1 trackback }

World Spinner
February 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Polwig January 17, 2011 at 6:22 am

I have the combination of pears and blue cheese. A friend of mine makes blue cheese stuffed pears and they are the first things gone at dinner party. The salad form looks amazing. I am glad you are back ;)

Nancy@acommunaltable January 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Amazing how such simple ingredients can result in something so flavorful!!!

So glad to see that you are back and hoping that all is well!!

Adair @ Lentil Breakdown January 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Was just thinking of making something like this for our FBLA meeting! I have blue cheese and have been making a similar salad with either apple or pear and walnuts and dried cranberries on watercress or other greens with a dijon shallot vinaigrette. They’ve been out of watercress at my farmers’ market for three weeks now though. What’s a salad snob to do?

Monet January 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

The sweet and juicy pear must be just wonderful with that fragrant and salty cheese. I love watercress, and I’m always looking for new salad recipes…this looks beyond delicious. Thank you for sharing your tasty salad with me. I hope you had a great day…may tomorrow be even better!

Juliana January 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Lynne, I love the simplicity of this salad…what a great combination… the sweetness of the pears together with the cheese…so yummie!

Nuts about food January 20, 2011 at 2:25 am

In Italian there is a saying that goes: “al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere”, which means “do not let the farmer know how good cheese goes with pears” . They really are lovely together.

Magic of Spice January 28, 2011 at 9:50 am

That is a beautiful salad, and what wonderful flavor combinations :)

grayslady January 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

Prepared this salad for our New Year’s Eve dinner and it was a huge success. The watercress was the perfect foil for the pears. Had never tried a comice pear before, since they aren’t commonly available; but, you’re correct–incredibly sweet, non-gritty pear. Thanks, Lynne. What a winner!

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