Cranberry Vinaigrette is a classic Holiday salad dressing for sliced pears, delicate greens, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar and walnut salad. Made with canned cranberry sauce, this is an easy salad dressing to put together.
Pear And Blue Cheese Salad, Perfect For Fall and Winter
The cranberry vinaigrette for this pear salad is simply outstanding. It’s easy to make using canned cranberry sauce, which blends well with balsamic vinegar, orange juice and sugar.
The tartness of this cranberry vinaigrette enhances the flavors of sweet pears and bold tangy blue cheese. And walnuts chime in with a nice crunch.
Very festive for salad recipe for Fall, Winter and especially nice for the Holidays.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Canned Cranberry Sauce
- Red Onion
- Blue Cheese
- Orange Juice
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive oil
- Tender Greens, Red leafed lettuce or Bibb Lettuce are good choices here. Adding some thin strands of Frisee or Arugula will add a nice texture and appearance.
- Pears: Any type of pear will work fine for this recipe. If you can find red pears, like Anjou pears, your salad will be even more an impressive presentation.
- Onion: The deep color of red onion is attractive in this salad. If you find the flavor too strong, simply substitute yellow or sweet onion.
- Walnuts: Substitute pecans for walnuts.
- Sugar: Substitute an equal amount of honey.
- Blue Cheese: Bleu cheese, or blue cheese is a category of cheese that contains the mold Penicillium. Gorgonzola is a specific type of blue cheese from Northern Italy. Both are used extensively in cooking and are very popular with wine and food. Gorgonzola has a unique taste and appearance. Both blue cheese or gorgonzola will work beautifully for this salad. And are a perfect cheese pairing for pears. Both are sharp and salty with a strong smell. Please refer to my recipe article for Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing, for more information about which type of blue cheese to use.
Step by Step Instructions, It’s Easy
- Step 1: Place cranberry sauce, olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt into a medium bowl.
- Step 2: Using a whisk, blend the ingredients together until smooth and well mixed.
Pro Tip: Freeze Ginger. Keep that knob of ginger in the freezer. Whenever you need a small amount for any recipe, just remove it and use a zester or microplane zester to acquire the amount you need and then return the rest back to the freezer for future use. You don’t even need to peel the ginger. EASY and practical.
- Step 3: Prepare Salad. Divide washed and dried chopped lettuce leaves evenly among 6 chilled salad plates. Thin slice the pears. Divide pear and onion evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 generous Tablespoon blue cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the cranberry vinaigrette. Freshly ground pepper is always welcome. Serve immediately.
Making the vinaigrette ahead makes this an incredibly easy salad to assemble right before dinner. Prepare the vinaigrette as early as three days in advance. Store the vinaigrette in a Mason style jar and give the vinaigrette a good shake before serving.
Prepare salad 30 minutes in advance. Prepare the greens, and slice the pears. Dip the pears into some orange or lemon juice so they won’t turn a dark color. Place the greens on salad plates, arrange the pears and sprinkle on the red onion and crumbled blue cheese. When ready to serve sprinkle with walnuts and dressing. You can also pass the dressing at the table. Don’t dress the salad in advance. The acid in the cranberry dressing will cause the greens to wilt.
Absolutely yes. Everyone has their own style of cranberry sauce, but adding the balsamic vinegar, oil and remaining ingredients will turn it into a lovely cranberry dressing.
What To Serve With This Salad
This cranberry vinaigrette brings with it a “special feel” starter salad for a special meal. Serve this as a starter for Spice Rubbed Oven Pork Tenderloin, Prime Rib Roast, or even a special chicken dinner like Chicken Galliano.
This Easy homemade Cranberry Balsamic Dressing made with canned cranberry sauce is a perfect special feel salad for Fall, Winter, Thanksgiving, Holidays and beyond.
More impressive side salad recipes
And don’t miss my comprehensive article on the 9 Secrets To Making A Remarkable Tossed Salad. Just say “no” to sad salads forever.
And if you’re looking for more side dish recipe ideas, don’t miss my Salad category. You’ll find lots of great recipe ideas.
Pear and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
- For the Cranberry Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce canned
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For The Salad
- 1-2 heads Delicate lettuce Bibb, Butter, Red Leaf. About 12 cups.
- 2 pears sliced
- 1 cup red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons walnuts chopped
- To prepare the cranberry vinaigrette: Place cranberry sauce, olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt into a medium bowl. Use a whisk to blend the ingredients to a smooth texture.
- To prepare the salad: Divide washed and dried chopped lettuce leaves evenly among 6 chilled salad plates.
- Thin slice the pears. Divide pear and onion evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 generous Tablespoon blue cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the cranberry vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately.
Cranberry Vinaigrette … It’s Whats for Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.