Certain combinations of ingredients are classics. For example, tomato and mozzarella or banana and caramel will always work well together. Pears and Gorgonzola cheese are another perfect tandem. I have already successfully used this combination in a delicious soup; it was time to try it in a Pear and Gorgonzola Salad.
When I think about pears, I have two memories connected with them, and with my grandmothers. Ages ago, when I was just a few-year-old girl, my paternal grandma offered me a small pear. I bit into it and… didn’t want to eat it anymore!
Its flesh was brown, so I thought it was rotten. But my grandmother explained to me that this was how wild pears looked when they were ready to eat. They had to lay around for a few days after they fell off trees. During that time the colour of their flesh changed to brown, but that was only a sign of them being ripened and perfect to eat. And they did taste incredibly delicious. Sadly, I haven’t seen them sold anywhere for ages.
The second memory relates to my maternal grandmother and her Conference pear tree. I remember picking the fruits up from the tree when they were still hard and probably not 100% ripe. But I loved pears in that stage: very crunchy but already full of flavour.
Nowadays I still prefer them like that and not when they are much juicier but also softer. Such crunchy Conference pears work exceptionally well in this straightforward and tasty Gorgonzola and Pear Salad (although of course, you can use any other type).
Besides being delicious, this Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Pecans has another significant advantage: you can be very flexible with it.
If you don’t have pecans or Gorgonzola, you can use different types of nuts and cheese and make, e.g. pear and blue cheese salad with walnuts. You can also adjust the amounts of ingredients depending on what your favourite ones are.
I, for example, don’t add Gorgonzola (!) to my husband’s portion of salad. He hates blue cheese but swears the salad is still delicious without it. And probably because I took pity on my husband (I didn’t want him to have a pear and pecan salad ?), I decided to include prosciutto. It added saltiness and a different texture which combined with the other ingredients and a maple dressing created a beautiful salad.