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Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette pouring out of a white pitcher

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

  • Author: (by Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: side salads, starters, side dishes
  • Method: tossed
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Pear and Goat Cheese Salad is perfect for fall and winter months. Crisp, fresh greens are topped with slices of juicy, sweet pears, crumbles of tangy goat cheese, candied walnuts and dried cranberries. It’s finished off with a walnut vinaigrette that’s super quick to prepare with only 3 ingredients!



Walnut Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Candied Walnuts

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 7 to 8 cups torn Boston bibb lettuce (or baby mixed greens)
  • 4 small ripe pears, cored, thinly sliced – see Note
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced


Walnut Vinaigrette

  1. In a small jar with a list, whisk together walnut oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and set aside.

Candied Walnuts

  1. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, then the walnut pieces. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and quickly transfer nuts onto waxed or parchment paper, separating the walnuts as much as possible. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
  3. Set aside to cool.

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

  1. Tear lettuces into bite-size pieces and divide evenly among 8 individual salad plates.
  2. Arrange pear slices decoratively on top.
  3. Sprinkle with goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts.
  4. Drizzle some dressing on top, passing the rest on the side.


Make ahead: Dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using. Candied walnuts can also be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and kept at room temperature.

Type of pears to use: I recommend using d’Anjou pears. Bartlett or Comice will also work well.

© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®