I adore pears and I love this Pear Arugula Gorgonzola Salad! It is beautiful to look at and easy to make.
Arugula greens are slightly bitter and peppery, a perfect compliment to the sweet of the pear. The nice little “bite” of the gorgonzola and crunch of walnuts add to the depths of flavor and then it is topped with a simply divine dressing.
But first, few pear facts:
- The skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. And why do we care? Well, phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids.
- The skin of the pear has also been shown to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber.
- Homer called pears a “gift of the gods.”
- The pear is propagated by budding or grafting onto a rootstock. In Europe the main rootstock used is quince. I just learned something new!
- It may take years before pear trees bear fruit.
- Pear trees may life as long as 50 to 75 years.
Pear facts in Denise’s world
- They are juicy good
- They make yummy desserts and other dishes
- They have a lovely color
- They look nice in a bowl
- Everyone loves pears. Any one who does not, should not eat my Pear Upside Down Cake. Or may you should!
But I digress to the point of forgetfulness…
Pear Arugula Gorgonzola Salad
- 6+ cups Baby Arugula – I love the ORGANICS brand
- 2 pears, peeled, cored & sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a dry pan on medium high heat until just brown (watch them carefully as they can burn!)
- 4 – 5 ounces of crumbled gorgonzola (you may substitute bleu cheese but I prefer not to.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 tablespoon concentrate may be used)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a few grinds of the black pepper mill or a few shakes of ground pepper.
- 1/2 cup light virgin olive oil (if you do not have light oil, regular virgin will work. It is a little heavier so you may need to add a tiny bit more lemon or vinegar to offset that.)
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a small to medium bowl add the first three ingredients. Whisk in a stream of the olive oil to incorporate it and then drizzle in the honey and continue whisking until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings.
If the dressing sits for any length of time, whisk a little before drizzling. The honey has a tendency to go to the bottom of the bowl.
On four lovely salad plates add a couple handfuls of the Baby Arugula. Divide the pear slices into four servings and make a nice fan arrangement on the on the greens. Sprinkle on the gorgonzola to your liking. Top with the toasted walnuts and drizzle a tablespoon or more of the dressing onto each salad.