Pan-fried pear & blue cheese salad

by Kathy Slack

A dish to bring crunch and colour to the chillier months

This warming winter salad is rich and satisfying, but the work of mere moments.


2 red onions
1 tbsp olive oil
3 pears
20g butter
2 small heads of chicory or radicchio
100g firm blue cheese (something like stilton, Cropwell Bishop or Stichelton)
60g walnuts, roughly chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp moscatel vinegar (or any sweet, white vinegar)
½ tsp honey


Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Cut the onions into quarters, break apart a few of the layers and put them in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle over the olive oil plus a little salt, then toss together so every segment is coated. Roast for 15-20 mins or until the onions are soft, and golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Next, cut the pears into eighths and remove the core from each wedge. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, once the butter is foaming, add the pears. Fry for 8-10 mins, turning occasionally, until the pears are golden brown and slightly softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Break apart the chicory and arrange it in a large salad bowl. Crumble over the blue cheese and the walnuts. Scatter the roasted onions and pears on top.

For the dressing, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary, then pour over the salad. Toss together gently and serve immediately.

Recipe: Kathy Slack