A Winter salad that doesn’t leave you cold on the inside, yes that’s how I like my salads in winter. In Winter salads have to work so much harder for me than at any other time of the year. The temptation to eat all the warming, steaming hot comfort food of Winter is very easy for me to give in to so a salad this time of year needs to be pretty special. I’ve worked hard on this one friends, it started out a bit cold and a bit limp but I think I have achieved something a little bit special with this pear, pomegranate and Stilton Winter salad.
This salad has so much flavour coming at you from different angles, it may just be one of my favourite salads yet. It has everything I want from a winter salad, it’s sweet, salty, has a little touch of bitterness from the fennel, the toasted nuts and seeds are rich and earthy and add lots of lovely crunch. The stilton brings a little creaminess with the saltiness and the dressing is so light and fresh but not too citrusy it just blends in perfectly. Yes, I like this one, my husband even said it was very well balanced, high praise friends, trust me, he is hard to please 😉 If you like this salad you may also like this celeriac, pear & stilton salad with pecans.
In case you are wondering why I have let the fennel sit in the dressing for a while it’s to stop the fennel turning brown and this has the added bonus of infusing the dressing just a little bit. The longer you leave the fennel in the better though. If you are planning on serving this salad for guests you could make it a few hours ahead, I would keep the fennel in the dressing and I would also let the sliced pears sit in some lemon juice to stop them from browning. Also you can toast the nuts and seeds ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container when they have cooled. You can substitute any blue cheese of your choice, I love Stilton so that works for me. If you want to make it vegan you could try it with some vegan cheese or a little nutritional yeast. This salad is ready in no time at all and really easy to make with little effort but with great results. Enjoy x
Pear, Pomegranate & Stilton Winter Salad
- 100 g winter salad leaves
- 2 ripe pears , sliced lengthways, I used conference pears.
- 80 g Stilton cheese
- 100 g fresh pomegranate seeds
- 100 g fennel , sliced thinly
- 40 g walnut halves
- 20 g pumpkin seeds
- FOR THE DRESSING
- 50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
In a small mixing bowl whisk the orange juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the sliced fennel and set aside.
In a hot skillet toast the walnut halves for about 4 - 5 minutes, remove them from the skillet then add the pumpkin seeds and toast them for 2-3 minutes or until they start to pop.
Remove the fennel from the dressing.
Add the salad leaves to a large salad bowl, then add the fennel, pears, nuts, seeds, pomegranate seeds and crumble in the cheese. Toss gently.
You can add the dressing to the salad bowl now if you wish or serve it on the side.
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