Italian Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola- This salad encompasses the perfect fall/winter flavors with the sweetness of pear and the tangy, sharpness of gorgonzola, and comforting flavors of the orange honey mustard vinaigrette – a classic Italian pairing.
Why I love this salad
I love salads all year around! The best part about salads is... you can make a hundred variations. This is one of my favorite combinations for fall and winter. It is a delicious salad to serve for any occasion.
Enjoy it as a side for a special occasion meal or fancy up a weeknight dinner by adding this as a side to any main dish.
The ingredients are wholesome and healthy for this delicious Italian Salad Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola.
- Mixed Italian greens
- Pears (see pear recommendations)
- Gorgonzola (see cheese variations)
- Walnuts (you can leave them out if desired or use pistachios or almonds)
- Olive oil
- Fresh orange juice
- Orange zest
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
What pears are best for a salad?
When pears are in season and are perfectly juicy and ripe, that is when this salad truly shines. If you can’t find pears that are sweet and ripe, you can substitute apple for the pear.
Some of my favorites include Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett and Comice varieties. The important thing is to choose pears that are ripe, but still firm.
You can gently squeeze the pear, it should have a bit of give if it's firm. Avoid soft pears, as they can get mushy in the salad.
What cheese is best for this salad?
The cheese in this recipe is gorgonzola. Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese, originally from Italy, made from unskimmed cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a "bite". It pairs perfectly with the sweet pears.
You can find it in a soft, creamy version or a firmer version. I like both versions for this salad.
You can also substituted with blue cheese or stilton. Gorgonzola often has a more mild flavor than blue cheese, and provides a great option if you do not prefer strong cheeses.
If you are looking for a different cheese altogether, I recommend- goat cheese or feta. Their acidity is similar and will complement the flavors of the salad well.
What greens will work in this salad?
I love to use a traditional Italian mix. You can find this salad in pre made bags with the perfect balance of sweet, crunchy romaine and crisp, red cabbage that adds a delectable texture and taste to this salad.
Try any salad mix you want. You can also add arugula or spinach. I don’t prefer to use romaine or iceberg lettuce because it’s too crunchy and the water content is too high. You will have better results with thin, leafy greens.
You will love this super easy homemade vinaigrette that you can use for different salad recipes as well. It is sweet, tangy, fresh, and just the right balance of flavors you desire for your tender salad greens.
You simple throw all the ingredients in a jar and shake, shake, shake!
Everyone loves this salad. It’s super easy to make. You can toss it up in just a few minutes, so it’s fresh right when you’re ready to serve it.
A beautiful and delicious salad for entertaining!
Best tips for serving salad:
- Make the dressing up to 2 days ahead of time. Store the dressing in the fridge and let it come to room temperature an hour before serving. Shake the jar and presto! You are ready to dress your salad.
- Serve the salad in a flat and wide serving platter (as pictured). Ditch the deep salad bowl and serve your salad on a platter for a pretty presentation. This will also help with serving and evenly topping the salad with all the add-in ingredients.
- Dress the salad 10 minutes before serving and DO NOT TOSS. When you serve the salad in a shallow and wide serving platter you don't need to toss the salad. No more digging for all the yummy toppings at the bottom of the bowl! Simply distribute the dressing evenly over the top and the it will seep down to coat all the toppings and salad underneath. Voila!
As guests serve themselves the salad will stay pretty with the ingredients on top.
Everyone will get a little bit of all the delicious toppings as the get their portions and the salad will be perfectly dressed with the vinaigrette.
This salad goes well with Perfect Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, or Classic Italian Lasagna Bolognese with Bechamel Sauce. Serve with a side of homemade bread, or focaccia, and a Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl) for dessert!
This salad also makes a great side to go with homemade pizza!
From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
Made with Amore, Elena
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Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.
I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena so I can see your delicious Italian recipes. To get more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.Print
Italian Green Salad Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola Orange Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
This Pear and Gorgonzola Salad encompasses the perfect flavors with the sweetness of pear and the tangy, sharpness of gorgonzola, and tangy delightful flavor of the orange honey dressing – a classic Italian pairing. Everyone loves this salad. It’s super easy to make. You can toss it up in just a few minutes, so it’s fresh right when you’re ready to serve it.
- Total Time: 13 minute
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Orange Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- ½ cup good quality olive oil
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice + zest of one orange
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic cut in quarters
- 2 bags (510 g) Italian lettuce mix or spring greens
- 2 medium pears, cored and diced
- 5 tablespoons of crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Citrus and Honey Vinaigrette DRESSING
- Place all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake vigorously. The dressing can stay at room temperature for up to two hours and up to one week in the refrigerator.
- In a large salad bowl or plater add the mixed salad. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the salad. Do not toss.
- Add all of the prepared dressing on evenly on top of the salad 10 minute before serving. Do not toss or all the ingredients will fall to the bottom. The dressing will eventually coat the bottom of the salad as it sinks. The salad will toss naturally as it is served. Mangia!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: N/A
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: salad, side dish, walnuts, citrus dressing, Italian salad, salad recipe, gorgonzola cheese
Angela W. says
This was such a refreshing salad. The ingredients are simple but it comes together flawlessly and packs a lot of flavor! My family loved it!
Thrilled you loved it. It is a tried and true staple!
Sandee DellaLucia says
I made this salad for thanksgiving last year and loved it! I have been making it ever since, I love the orange salad dressing!!! So fresh!
Thank you! It is one of our favorites as well!
Paloma Mia says
I made this elegant and beautiful salad as an accompaniment to everything on Thanksgiving. It was a huge hit! The orange vinaigrette is lovely. I highly recommend this salad anytime of the year.
So happy you loved it! It does make a beautiful presentation. You should try the orange, fennel, and pomegranate recipe for your holiday parties. Enjoy.
Whole family loves this salad recipe. Easy and flavorful!
Happy you loved it! The orange vinaigrette is so scrumptious.
This has become one of our favorite Sunday dinner sides.
Sandee DellaLucia says
This is my family’s new favorite salad! We have made a similar salad for years, but this homemade dressing takes it over the top!, thank you Elena! Love your website, recipes, instagram, stories! Love it all!
Yes, the dressing is so fresh and delicious. Happy you enjoy it!
I LOVE this salad. The citrus based dressing is divine, and the blue cheese in combination with the pears makes for a party in your mouth. I don’t love walnuts so I used pecans instead.
So happy you loved it. I am sure pecans would be wonderful as well!
Jesse Overton says
LOVED this recipe. It was so fresh and filling. And looks beautiful too!
It is a beautiful and delicious salad. Thanks for taking the time to write a review!