Endive, blue cheese, and pear salad is an elegant and easy approach to eating healthfully without having it seem like penance. Quite the contrary. The melding of sweet and savory and salty and slightly tangy will have everyone complimenting you and clamoring for more.–Renee Schettler

A white plate topped with endive, blue cheese, pears, and walnuts

Endive, Blue Cheese, and Pear Salad

5 / 2 votes
Endive, blue cheese, and pear salad is an easy and elegant salad that you'll find yourself making again and again. Crispy greens, earthy walnuts, creamy blue cheese, and a flavor-packed vinaigrette guarantees that you'll love it.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories521 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


For the salad

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • One (5-oz) Corella, Williams or Bartlett pear
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Belgian endive (yellow or red variety), leaves separated
  • 1/4 head frisée, torn into pieces
  • 7 ounces Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or other blue cheese

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Make the salad

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Keep careful watch as the walnuts go from not quite done to scorched quite quickly. Transfer the walnuts to a plate to cool.
  • Thinly slice the pear and toss it with the lemon juice in a salad bowl. Add the walnuts, endive, and frisée. Crumble the blue cheese over the top.

Make the vinaigrette

  • Using the back of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic and coarse salt into a paste. (You can also do this with a mortar and pestle.) Add the garlic paste, mustard, and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk until combined. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream until the dressing thickens and emulsifies.

Assemble the salad

  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Le Picnic Cookbook

Adapted From

Le Picnic

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 521 kcalCarbohydrates: 13 gProtein: 16 gFat: 47 gSaturated Fat: 13 gMonounsaturated Fat: 16 gCholesterol: 37 mgSodium: 883 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Suzy Ashford. Photo © 2017 Chris Middleton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Full of familiar flavor combinations, this endive, blue cheese, and pear salad is an easy win. Blue cheese and pears match well together and provide a nice sweet to contrast to the slight bitterness of the endive and frisée. The walnuts add a crunch, but the real star is the dressing. The bite of the garlic and lightness of the dressing just ties the whole salad together. I used Gorgonzola dolce because I love the softness and sweetness of this cheese with pears and walnuts.

This elegant recipe had all the elements that I think make up a perfect salad: a mixture of tasty greens, a tangy dressing, sweet fruit, creamy cheese, and the buttery crunch of nuts. Salads designed around those taste and textures, to me, are always a hit. And keeping those elements in mind when designing a menu make the possibilities for salad combinations endless! If it’s summer, use fresh berries, check to see what cheese you have in the fridge, what nuts are in the pantry, so-on-and-so forth. But back to the recipe at hand! I used a combination of yellow endive and curly endive for the greens. I had some crumbled Gorgonzola in the fridge and walnuts in the pantry and the pear variety I used was a ripe, yellow Bartlett. I actually did not whisk in the oil as said; I put everything in a Mason jar and shook it until it emulsified, which took about 30 seconds. Overall, a lovely salad that I think would be wonderful with some radicchio as well–and if you couldn’t find ripe pears, I could see the elements working well with dried figs swapped in instead.

Take some lovely ingredients, put them together, and get a salad that is oh so much better than the sum of its parts. I love the combination of pears and blue cheese, so this was a no-brainer for me to make. The frisée I bought was quite bitter but the sweetness of the pear offset it beautifully. I love a vinaigrette that’s made with lemon juice like this one is, and it was perfect to dress the ingredients as it added a brightness to the salad. Everything fits together beautifully. The different textures—soft, crispy, crunchy, creamy, and, if you time it right, served when the walnuts are still warm, you have an added bonus in the different temperatures. This recipe is one that I will make again for us to enjoy, and it will be impressive as something to serve for company. I find that pasting garlic on a cutting board, by crushing the clove(s) of garlic, sprinkling the salt on top, and then working the salt into the garlic, works much better for me than trying to smush it together in a bowl with the back of a spoon.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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