Friday, January 11

Winter Greens: Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese

SALAD. One word can mean so many things. Now-a-days, even green salad doesn't quite narrow it down enough. At restaurants, a green salad can mean iceberg-YUK!, a slice of tomato, cucumber and carrot; drenched in a boatload of dressing. Not very appealing is it? It doesn't sound good to me, not when a green salad can be SO amazing. 

I'm sure at some point over the last year I have mentioned that I love salad. By far it is my favorite meal, a big salad packed with everything good. The first time we traveled through France, after ten days or so, I was KA-RAVING salad. Some of you might find this a bit odd, but then Mr.P,  and my friends, would tell you that I am a little out-there. One evening I decided on a salad for dinner. First let me say that aside from the communication breakdown the waiter and I were having, he just could NOT comprehend 'just salad' for dinner. This was FRANCE for goodness sake! Didn't I know better? I was an American in search of roughage and I was not going to give in to this very French bring it on Mr.Frenchie! 

The waiter asked"La Madame voulez-vous un steak avec cela?"  To which I replied,  "No sir, I would not like a steak with that..or frites." Then he tries, "Alors puis-je suggérer un poulet rôtis?" No. No not a roast chicken...just the salad please." By this point I was gettin' warm when he asked for the last time, "Peut-être le veau alors. C'est surtout bon ce soir. Nous sommes connus dans Versailles pour notre veau." I stared at him and stuttered, "Uhhhhh,", I had NO clue what Frenchie was saying to me. He begins to point and I get it, "Oh, yes sir, I do understand that you are known for your veal, but I would just simply like the salad. Alone. Nothing else. Okay? You sure? Alrighty then. The. BIG. Salad." I worked hard to get that salad and it was divine my friends. It was packed full of dandelion weeds and things I had never seen,  but I wasn't about to say anything.  I kept my head down and just ate! The. Big. Salad.

This timeless, simple salad has the perfect mix of bitter, sweet, tangy and crunchy. Try it with green apples or Bosc pears if Asian pears are hard to find.

Asian Pear and Arugula Salad 
with  Gorgonzola Cheese


  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, candied if you like
  • 5 to 6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
  • 1 pear, Asian is good
  • the juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced challot 
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard, Grey Poupon OR Honey, for a completely different flavor
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces Gorgonzola or Maytag Blue cheese crumbles 

  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, mustard or honey, and chopped thyme. Season the salad dressing with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the pear slices and walnuts. Add the dressing and toss well. Top with the crumbled cheese, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and serve right away.

    The great thing about salads is you can easily improvise if you don’t have or can’t find an ingredient. 

    This recipe is really easy, give it a try...'ll be glad ya did!



    1. I get hungry just looking at these beautiful pictures, Ronda. I love salads like this. Ukraine is so creative in their salads. You'd have a blast eating out here. We do salads a lot and we can't hardly get iceberg, which is not so bad. It does may one more creative and thus are the Ukrainians.

      Blessings on your day, Coleen

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