Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad

Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad

Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad

Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad

When looking for a different type of salad for lunch or a light supper it's always hard to come up with different combinations that work.
Sometimes you want to throw in some fruit but forget to add some fat or protein to round it out or you add nuts but always the same ones so the salad tastes...meh...just like the others.

This salad is a spin on the classic Roquefort and Walnut that uses Endive or Chicory (depending on where you live) as the leaves.
The chicory leaves are bitter and acidic and work really well with the saltiness and creaminess of the Roquefort which is perhaps why it's a classic dish.

For this Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad I've used produce local to where I live here in SW France.
Roquefort is produced near to me and the rest are found on the trees in my back yard so it's hard not to want to use them in everything!

Roquefort is an incredibly easy ingredient to pair with other foods.
It's salty so goes well with sweet things, it's creamy so will go well with acidic things and it's pungent so will pair with fragrant things.
One thing that Roquefort does need though, is something to bring a bit of earthiness and mute some of that "over the top" flavour.
Nuts do the trick, notably walnuts. Their bitterness combined with the creamy, salty, pungent cheese make a combination that's hard to beat.
Unless you use chestnuts that is!

Chestnuts have a unique texture that is smooth and full with the flavour being creamy and nutty - a total complement to Roquefort.
You can get fresh chestnuts during the autumn if you have the patience to roast and shell them or you can buy them in jars pre cooked and shelled.
If you haven't had the pleasure of using chestnuts other than for turkey stuffing you should try them. They are particularly nice sauteed with green beans and pancetta!

I used pear in this recipe as it's a great substitute for the regularly used apple yet sweeter and incredible with strong blue cheeses.
I used cold slices but you can quickly grill or flash fry them and use them warm for a new dimension.

For dressings, I am using a simple vinaigrette but I have a recipe to a Warm Roquefort Dressing which works just as well if you're looking for something different.

So, try it and enjoy it. This different salad could open the door to lots of other interesting combinations.

Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad
Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad
Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad

Recipe for 2 People

1 Ripe Pear - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
100g Roquefort - crumbled into chunks
16 whole Chestnuts - cooked and peeled and cut in half
1 tsp butter
1 tsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Salad leaves - washed, enough for 2 depending on size of salad required
¼ Red Onion - small and shredded finely


2 tbsp Shallot Vinegar or Walnut Vinegar (if you can get it)
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Pinch Salt
Pinch Fresh Ground Black Pepper

The Mix: 

Make the dressing by putting all ingredients together in a jar and shaking vigorously - make sure that the lid is on properly!
In a frying pan add butter and olive oil and heat through
Add the chestnuts, soat with the oil/butter mixture, season and fry for a couple of minutes without colouring - drain and put to one side
Spread the lettuce over a plate and distribute the onion, crumbled Roquefort and sliced cheese around
Top with the chestnuts them drizzle with vinaigrette

You can pan fry the pear and eat it warm if you prefer a warmer salad and you can use a Warm Roquefort Dressing if you prefer a creamier dressing.

Drink This: 

A classic wine pairing with Roquefort is Sauternes from Bordeaux.
Certainly something to try once in your lifetime if you haven't already.


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