Al's Windsor Blue and Grilled Pear Salad with Mizuna and Crispy Walnuts

This salad is the perfect contrast of salty blue cheese, sweet pear, fresh mizuna and the crunchy texture and deep nutty flavour of the walnuts.  Serve this as a side dish or a terrific first course. 


Step 1.  Crispy Walnuts


Canola Oil
150 gm walnuts


Pour the oil into a small saucepan and heat to a medium temperature.

Add the walnuts and fry until they have a light golden brown colour. Stir often. Remove the walnuts from the oil before they reach your desired colour, as they will continue to cook slightly once removed. Place on a paper towel lined dish to cool. Store in airtight container until required.

Step 2.  Pear and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette


1/2 tsp fennel seeds (toasted and ground)
3 Tbs shallots (finely diced)
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp sugar
3 Tbs pear vinegar 
1/2 cup walnut oil (or other nut oil) 
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper


Place the ground fennel seeds, diced shallots, mustard, sugar and vinegar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Bring ingredients together with a whisk. Drizzle in the walnut oil whisking continuously. Once combined, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate until required.

Step 3.  Preparing and Serving


3 large packham pears (peeled, quartered, then cut into 4 slices)
1 bag Zoe's Garden Mizuna
1 bag Zoe's Garden Rocket 
1 pot of watercress (leaves picked)
1 bag of Zoe's Garden Miner's Lettuce
Crispy Walnuts
Pear and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette
150 gm Whitestone Windsor Blue Cheese
Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Heat a large non-stick pan to a high temperature. Cook the pears quickly on both sides until they obtain a caramel colour.  Remove and cool. Repeat process until all the pears are cooked. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

Take a large mixing bowl and combine the salad leaves, walnuts and pear.  Coat with a generous quantity of vinaigrette and mix through gently.

Serve salad onto plates or bowls and finish with some freshly shaved windsor blue cheese and a crack of black pepper.

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