This fresh Pear, Stilton and Candied Walnut Salad is a stunning Winter salad that is delicious served as a light meal or as a side dish!
Hands up if you are still using up Christmas food? I’m guilty too!
This salad was the result of a bit of a fridge clear out and a New Year’s Day walk to the corner shop. I was lucky enough to find a very rare thing – a bag of perfectly ripe pears for mere pennies!!
I thought they would be perfect in a Winter salad with some crumbled blue cheese and some walnuts.
I have to tell you that while this salad is delicious in its own right, it’s absolutely fabulous alongside a steak.
It takes minutes to put together – you do have to make the candied walnuts ahead of time, but they really don’t take long at all.
How to make this pear Stilton and Walnut Salad
- First of all, make the Candied walnuts. It might seem a bit of effort to make these for a salad, but trust me – they are fantastic and really make a difference to the salad.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over a low to medium heat. When the nuts have toasted, quickly add 2 tablespoons of sugar and allow the sugar to melt, swirling the pan (no stirring or the sugar will crystallise)
- When the nuts are coated in caramel, quickly tip them onto a plate. Allow to cool before adding to the salad.
- Make the dressing by placing olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard and a little salt and pepper in a jar with a screw on lid. Place the lid tightly on the jar and shake, shake shake!
- Empty a large bag of salad leaves into a bowl. I used a mixture of spinach leaves, watercress and rocket.
- Pour over the dressing and using your hands, gently toss the salad leaves to coat them in dressing.
- Peel, core and quarter the pears and add them to the salad. Crumble the stilton or blue cheese over the salad leaves. Finally add the candied walnuts.
This is such a beautiful Winter salad with so many different flavours and textures I hope you give it a try!
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- 100g Walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
- 170G Bag of Fresh Salad Leaves (I like to use a mixture of Spinach, Rocket and Watercress)
- 4 Ripe Pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 150G Stilton or Creamy Blue Cheese
- For the Dressing:
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the walnuts in a dry frying pan set over a low to medium heat. When the nuts are toasted and golden, immediately add the sugar. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow the sugar to slowly melt, swirling the pan to catch any sugar that is stuck to the sides of the pan. When the sugar has dissolved and the nuts are coated in caramel, quickly tip them out on a plate. Allow to cool before adding the the salad.
- Tip the salad leaves into a large salad/serving bowl. Make the dressing by placing the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and salt and pepper in a jar with a screw on lid. Shake the jar like mad until you have salad dressing! Pour the dressing over the leaves. Using your hands, mix the salad and the dressing together, making sure all the leaves are lightly coated.
- Add the pears to the salad and crumble over the blue cheese. Add the walnuts. Using your hands again, very lightly mix the salad one more time before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 507mgCarbohydrates: 39gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 8gSugar: 25gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 12g