Walnut, pear, and gorgonzola salad

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Walnut, pear, and gorgonzola salad
Not only are the days getting longer, it's also a better time to get your vitamin C in its original package. Marlene Gonzales of the Lone Oak Ranch says that all of their farm's citrus is sweeter after the solstice, particularly Fisher navel oranges. As these oranges are only available about one month per year, visit your local farmers' market on your lunch hour. This week's recipe is your basic and classic walnut, pear, lettuce and good cheese recipe found everywhere. This version, however, is my favorite as it uses puréed, toasted walnuts in the vinaigrette. It's a great way to get your omega-3s. This is good.

Servings: 4


  • 2 heads of butter lettuce or lettuces of your choice
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (1 each of raspberry and red wine or 2 of balsamic)
  • 3 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue (bleu?) cheese
  • 2 pears (red D'Anjou if possible), cored and cut lengthwise in eighths
  • Watercress for garnish


Separate the lettuce leaves. Toast the walnuts in a preheated 325° oven for 5 minutes. Purée 1/4 cup of the toasted walnuts and garlic. Add the vinegar(s), salt and pepper. While whisking or pulsing in a kitchen device, add the oils. Toss the leaves with the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, vinaigrette and gorgonzola. Arrange on four plates and top neatly with pear slices, watercress and any remaining salvageable bits of gorgonzola from the bowl.