Pear and Candied Walnut Salad

For many years, someone in my family would celebrate their birthday at the Melting Pot. We usually just got cheese and chocolate (because those are the most delicious), but it always came with a delicious salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts. This salad reminds me of those Melting Pot salads.

While I don’t normally spend much time making a special salad, when I had some pears and blue cheese on hand, I knew I wanted to combine them in this salad. I went back to my trusty old Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe, and made some candied walnuts too. The end result is a tasty, crave-worthy salad that I could eat over and over again. Perfect for the winter when pears are in season.

What’s your favorite salad or salad topping?

Pear and Candied Walnut Salad

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz walnuts
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • Blue cheese, crumbled
  • Pear (1/4-2/3 per person), thinly sliced
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Before you begin, wash your hands with soap and water.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

To make the candied walnuts, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl, mix until combined. In a larger bowl, whisk together egg white and vanilla until frothy. Mix the walnuts into the liquid and coat evenly, then mix in the sugar mixture. Pour the walnuts out on the prepared baking sheet and distribute in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, toss, then bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When ready to make your salads, divide lettuce into individual serving bowls and top with crumbled blue cheese, pear slices, and some candied walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and serve.

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