Pear, Walnut, Maytag Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pear, walnut, Maytag blue cheese salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette.  A perfect salad for the holidays.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to our friends Tom and Kathy’s house for a dinner party. This is the scene of last Summer’s “Burb’s BBQ”, a blog post that you can review by clicking HERE. You really should take a look at that Summer party post because lurking there is Kathy’s famous shrimp appetizer recipe, a MUST try.

And darn it, Dan and Teri couldn’t make it to this gathering because Teri was ill. We thought about calling the whole thing off, but then realized it was our responsibility to drink the wine we had so carefully picked for the evening, so went ahead without them.

Kathy asked me to bring a salad, so I chose this pear salad with cranberry vinaigrette. Very festive for this time of year, and absolutely delicious I must say, and the Maytag Blue Cheese is a killer in this.  I like to buy the red skinned pears, I just think it makes for a prettier presentation. Below you’ll find pictures of the party and the rest of the dinner. We had a fabulous evening.

Pear, Walnut, Maytag Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce, canned
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Salad
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce
  • 2 whole pears, sliced
  • 2 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese
  • 2 Tbs walnuts, chopped
  1. To prepare vinaigrette, place first 7 ingredients in medium bowl, stir well with whisk.
  2. To prepare the salad, divide the lettuce leaves evenly among 6 salad plates. Toss pear with 2 T. orange juice. Divide pear and onion evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 T. cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2½ T. vinaigrette.


These little appetizers were delicious.  Small oval toasts topped with basil pesto, a slice of tomato and a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Just broil until cheese is melted, easy and yummy.


I loved this.  Kathy found these little crab cakes in the frozen food department at Whole Foods.  Served with a remoulade sauce makes an elegant and impressive appetizer.


The evening wouldn’t be complete with this mouth-watering Sauvignon Blanc.  We had a lovely time on the patio at Bergstrom Winery in Oregon, fond memory and great wines.



Host Tom pouring us some wine.

JUST LOOK at this pork tenderloin smothered in a cranberry sauce.  You just wouldn’t believe how good this was.

::::clearing throat…I didn’t want to say anything, but Tom missed my glass.  I just want Kathy to know this in case she thinks I’m the one who got wine all over her beautiful tablecloth.  :-)

Our friends Greg and Maralee.

Tom, the host and wine spiller.

A hopeful guest.  Don’t tell Kathy, but I did sneak her a couple tiny bites of pork tenderloin.

Maralee pontificating about that delicious cranberry sauce recipe that covered the pork.

FABULOUS dinner party Tom and Kathy, and sorry you couldn’t make it Dan and Teri, but that did mean more wine for us.

Pear, Walnut, Maytag Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette…It’s What’s For A Salad

On this day..

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  1. says

    If you love Maytag, you may want to try Pt.Reyes Farmstead Cheese co. Blue Cheese. If you can find it give it a try. It is a little more creamier than Maytag. It is a Westcoast favorite.

  2. says

    I like Maytag blue cheese, but General Electric’s gouda is to die for! (ha ha ha ha ha ha….sorry)

    Looks like a very fun night even if Tom was so sloppy drunk he couldn’t poor wine :) It all looks very good!

  3. says

    This looks like such a fun get-together! I love all the cranberry you guys ate. Cranberry sauce has to be one of my most favorite condiments ever.

    Your cranberry vinaigrette sounds fantastic, especially with the blue cheese. I love blue cheese.

  4. says

    Bee-yoo-tee-ful salad! I’m pretty sure that if I went into my little grocery, they would scratch their heads at a request for a particular type of bleu cheese. I’ll be trying the salad, though, even if I have to settle for another type. The tenderloin made my mouth water . . . very nice post!

  5. dan says

    Num. Missed you all. Can someone bring those crab cakes over this Saturday?

    Tom is happy, Tom spills the wine, then Tom gets happier…life is good with Tom.

  6. says

    I’ve had blue cheese with pears and walnuts but next time I will try Maytag. It’s my sister’s favorite cheese. What I really liked was the idea of cranberry sauce in the vinaigrette. Just a touch of sweetness.
    Had a similar salad at lunch in a restaurant recently, but they also added some chicken so we got our protein.
    Love your dinner party story- you all had such fun! And isn’t that the cutest dog? No wonder you snuck her a few bites.


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