This refreshing salad is a perfect partnership of flavours with sweet and juicy pears and sharp and tangy blue cheese. Choose a red-skinned variety of pear such as Red Bartlett or Red Anjou and pick ones that are just ripe. You can use any variety of blue cheese – go for Stilton or gorgonzola if you like a really strong-flavoured cheese or for a milder taste pick a soft and creamy dolcelatte or cambazola (sometimes called blue Brie). Prepare the salad not more than a couple of hours before serving otherwise the pears and cabbage will lose their crispness.
- 2 large ripe pears, halved, cored and sliced
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 150g red or white cabbage, trimmed and shredded
- 2 celery stalks, chopped, plus a handful of celery leaves
- Handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
- 75g mixed salad leaves
- 50g walnut halves
- 150g soft blue cheese
- For the dressing:
- 2tbsp crème fraiche
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle the pear slices with the lemon juice and toss in a large salad bowl with the cabbage, celery, celery leaves, parsley and salad leaves. Scatter over the walnuts and crumble over the blue cheese.
To make the dressing place the crème fraiche, oil and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together thoroughly until combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the salad and serve immediately.
Instead of walnuts you could use toasted whole hazelnuts or sprinkle the salad with toasted sunflower seeds.