The side salad I enjoyed recently at a local bistro wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Instead of the usual garden mix, this salad was a surprisingly tasty blend of fresh pears, tangy crumbles of gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and the lightest of vinaigrette dressing. Of course, I wanted to make it for myself at home.
A search online of recipes from the Pear Bureau Northwest turned up this very similar salad that includes pureed pears in its dressing. Like the original, it’s both sweet and savory, and great as a side salad with grilled chicken or fish, or as a stand-alone dish.
Give it a try!
Bibb Lettuce Salad with Gorgonzola and Fresh Pear Dressing
Serves 6 Ingredients
- 3 large ripe Bartlett USA Pears
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon fresh tarragon or scant ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 heads Bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried
- 4 ounces (1 cup) crumbed Gorgonzola or blue cheese
Peel, core, and chop one pear.
Place pear, ⅓ cup water, sugar, and tarragon in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until pear pieces are soft, about five minutes, depending on ripeness of pear. Do not let all the water evaporate. There should be about ⅞ cup pear and liquid. Cool.
Pour pear and liquid into a blender and blend until smooth. Add part of the vinegar and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust sugar and vinegar/lemon juice to make a sweet-tart dressing, adding a little water if needed to thin.
Refrigerate until cold.
Core and thinly slice remaining 2 pears.
For each serving, arrange 3-4 lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Top with ⅓ of a sliced pear, 2-3 tablespoons Gorgonzola, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing.