Baby Greens Salad with Roquefort and Pears

Are you a little timid around blue cheese, but determined to break your fear?

The trick is to not eat it on its own!

Rather, you should employ a clever strategy of combining the cheese with other ingredients that will balance its strong flavor and pungent aroma.

Making a salad is an easy method for building and layering flavors and textures – there is a playful collaboration among each individual item to yield a fresh and dynamic final dish that isn’t overpowered by a single component.

Let this baby greens salad with Roquefort and pears guide you to harmonious happiness!

Vertical top-down image of three dishes with a mix of baby greens, nuts, diced shallots, and sliced fruit, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

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Salty and strong, sultry and spicy, Roquefort is a French sheep’s milk blue cheese with an intense bite and creamy texture.

Because Roquefort has been granted name-protected status in 1925, there is a multitude of rules and restrictions surrounding its production in order to protect and promote its historical, cultural, and geographical heritage.

Vertical image of four salads on small plates resting on a tan towel next to fruit, pecans, and metal forks.

One defining feature of this product is that it must be produced with unpasteurized whole sheep’s milk of the Lacaune breed, and this milk must come from certain departments in France.

Another key regulation is that the wheels must be aged for a minimum of 90 days, and every wheel must be exposed during this aging process for a minimum of two weeks in the natural caves of Mont Combalou in France’s Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

The fungus used for its production – what gives Roquefort its beautiful blue-green mold – may only be Penicillium roqueforti, directly obtained from these caves.

Vertical image of four plates topped with a mixed salad on a tan towel next to fresh whole fruit.

You can learn more about Roquefort, and some of its many specific regulations, in Liz Thorpe’s “The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide to Discovering Cheeses You’ll Love,” which is available now on Amazon.

The Book of Cheese

While the rules for the making and aging of Roquefort are heavily monitored, there are no restrictive policies for how you should enjoy it!

Vertical image of four plates with baby greens, sliced fruit, and other toppings on a tan towel next to pecans and a fork.

But we certainly have our own suggestions with this recipe…

A bed of baby greens provides the soft and tender home for all of the toppings.

Fresh pears and blue cheese are destined for greatness as a couple, as the juiciness and sweetness of the ripe fruit is the exact contrast this particularly abrasive cheese desires.

Toasted pecans bring a deeply nutty, subtly smoky flavor as well as a lightly crunchy texture, all of which proudly stand up to the cheese’s own strong character.

Vertical closeup image of a salad topped with slices of ripe pears on a tan towel next to forks and nuts.

And a made-from-scratch shallot vinaigrette with champagne vinegar is the preferred style of dressing needed to cut through Roquefort’s rich creaminess.

A little bit of freshly cracked salt and pepper is the finishing touch before serving.

There’s nothing to fear here. After a few bites of this fresh and simple – yet thoughtfully planned – medley of ingredients, you’ll wish you started adding blue cheese to your salads years ago!

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Horizontal top-down image of three dishes on a tan towel with a mix of baby greens, nuts, diced shallots, and sliced fruit.

Baby Greens Salad with Roquefort and Pears

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Unlock harmonious happiness with our baby greens salad, a clever combo of pungent Roquefort, ripe pears, toasted nuts, and a shallot vinaigrette.



For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 5 ounces baby greens
  • 2 ripe medium pears, cored and sliced
  • 4 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


For the Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine the diced shallot and champagne vinegar in a small bowl. Allow to macerate at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the Salad and Final Assembly:

  1. While the shallots are macerating, heat a small skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Place the pecans in the skillet and toast, stirring the nuts constantly, until they are aromatic and lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the nuts to a small heatproof cutting board and allow to cool completely. Coarsely chop them.
  3. Divide the baby greens among four bowls or plates. Top each pile with an equal amount of pear slices, crumbled Roquefort, and pecans.
  4. Directly before serving, drizzle an equal amount of vinaigrette over each salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: salad, pear, roquefort, blue cheese, pecans, shallot

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Macerate the Shallots

For the vinaigrette, measure out the champagne vinegar. Finely dice the shallot using a sturdy cutting board and sharp knife.

Horizontal image of finely diced onions in vinegar in a small white bowl on a tan towel.

Never prepped a shallot before? Use the same techniques when you prep any kind of bulbous onion.

Combine and stir together the shallots and champagne vinegar in a small bowl. Let this mixture macerate at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring once about halfway through macerating.

This maceration process with vinegar mellows out the abrasive sting of the shallots, bringing out its subtle sweetness – you can use this method with any variety of onion if it will be served raw in a recipe. Try it the next time you’re topping tacos, chili, and more with raw onions!

Step 2 – Toast and Chop the Pecans

As the shallots macerate, this is the perfect time to toast the pecans and allow them to thoroughly cool.

Horizontal image of coarsely chopped nuts on a white plate.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Place the pecans in the skillet and toast them until they are aromatic and lightly browned. Be sure to stir the nuts constantly so they toast evenly and don’t burn. This will only take about one or two minutes.

Transfer the nuts to a heatproof cutting board and allow them to cool completely. If they remain in the hot skillet, they will continue cooking and may potentially burn.

Coarsely chop the cooled pecans.

Step 3 – Make the Vinaigrette

After the shallots have completed macerating, add the olive oil into the bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set the vinaigrette aside.

Horizontal image of a white bowl with a shallot dressing.

It can stay out at room temperature if you’re going to assemble the salads right away.

You are able to make the vinaigrette ahead of time for meal prep purposes and store it up to one week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

The oil may congeal in the refrigerator, so let the vinaigrette sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Give it a vigorous whisk before moving to the next step.

Step 4 – Prep the Remaining Ingredients

To keep the salad as fresh as possible, it’s best to slice the pears and assemble everything together now – directly before serving – rather than ahead of time.

Horizontal image of sliced pears on a white plate next to crumbled blue cheese in a small bowl.

Use a clean cutting board to core and thinly slice the pears. Crumble the Roquefort cheese by hand.

Use your favorite variety of sweet pear, and make sure it’s ripe enough to serve in an uncooked format – Bosc, Comice, Anjou, and Bartlett are all tasty options!

Step 5 – Assemble and Serve

When you’re ready to serve, divide the salad greens among four bowls or plates. Top each pile of greens with an equal amount of pear slices, Roquefort crumbles, and toasted pecans.

Horizontal image of multiple plates topped with a bed of baby greens, sliced fruit, crumbled cheese, diced shallots, and nuts.

Drizzle an equal amount of vinaigrette over each salad – this will be about 1 1/2 tablespoons per salad.

Season each dish to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Change the Cheese

Roquefort may not be the best blue cheese for you – and that’s fine!

If you prefer a different style, consult your local monger or take the time to shop your options at your grocery store.

You may prefer something firmer, lighter, and brighter made with cow’s milk, along the lines of a Danish blue cheese.

But you might like Stilton, with its dense and fudgy texture. It will be nuttier and sweeter than Roquefort, perfect if you prefer a blue that isn’t too aggressive.

Horizontal top-down image of three dishes on a tan towel with a mix of baby greens, nuts, diced shallots, and sliced fruit.

This is your opportunity to explore new cheeses, ones that you might never have tried before. And it would be even better if you could request a quick sample of one or two – don’t be afraid to ask!

Does blue cheese give you the blues, or are you an avid supporter of this pungent style? How do you like to use it in dishes? Leave a comment below!

When they’re succulent and ripe, who can resist incorporating pears into one’s diet all the time? Take a peek at three more delectable pear recipes when this fruit is in season and plentiful:

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

25 thoughts on “Baby Greens Salad with Roquefort and Pears”

  1. That looks mouth watering for a salad bowl, which is by the way filled with detailed ingredients. Today I had a healthy, delicious plate of salad myself, but this one here is just on a whole other level. It’s a perfect recipe for me that focuses on a great mix of some of my favorite foods.

    • Glad you enjoy the recipe T – adding some of your favorite ingredients to a salad is a great way to ensure getting a healthy serving of greens each day.

  2. This looks beautiful, and I would make it for a special occasion. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to caramelize the pecans, but I’m glad you included those instructions, since I’ve never tried that before. I love the combination of rich and healthy ingredients in this, it sounds and looks delicious.

    • There’s no doubt that caramelized pecans are delicious, but I do try to limit my intake of sugars… and you’re right Diane, this salad does have some wonderful flavor combinations.

  3. I need to go make a salad right now. This made my mouth water. I have the cheese and some pears, but I don’t have the proper greens. I think I”m going to “fake” it with some Romaine, until I get some other choices. This is just too good to pass up.

    Roquefort goes so well with certain fruits. I know it’s going to be wonderful with pears. Yum.

    • Fake it ’til you make it Zyni! Romaine is an excellent substitution for baby greens, and the Roquefort is a great flavor pairing with pears… hope you enjoy it.

  4. Oh my. I love roquefort in a salad. Or with apples. This mix of fresh, sweet and — how can I even describe the strong savoury taste of blue cheese! looks heavenly. There’s even avocado in there! To be honest, I’ve never seen a salad that I wanted so strongly right away. Mmmmm.

    • In my books, Roquefort goes well with pretty much anything! And the lightness of the salad greens and pears really helps to balance out its richness.

  5. Mmm, I’ve been craving something like this with pears lately. This combination looks so delicious. I love a salad and I eat plenty of them, but this puts most of mine to shame, haha. It’s definitely going on my to-eat list!

    • I eat salads all the time too, but it’s usually one of those, “let’s throw whatever I have in the fridge into a bowl with some lettuce” kind of salads. It’s great for using up whatever leftover produce I might have, but not so great in finding that perfect flavor combination.

  6. To be honest Leopard, my usual lunch-time salads don’t look like this either, but it does make for a nice treat every now and then.

  7. This is definitely a salad I love. No need to substitute the roquefort for anything. Adding more cheese might be a good idea however! But I honestly think that the combination of pecans and roquefort is just as good as nothing else really! It’s something simple and easy (if I don’t caramelise the pecans of course) to put together.

    • It is a wonderfully simple and easy salad Cazala26, and the Roquefort, pecans and pears are a delicious combination. And I usually get pretty generous with the Roquefort too!

  8. Wow by the name I thought this was a fancy difficult dish reserved for the best restaurants! Just made it for lunch, my partner and I both loved it! I cheated and candied the nuts =)
    Also don’t discount high-fat cheese! Most of it is god fat, you need fat it’s an important nutrient. Good fat like good protein keep you sated longer. However I am also very active so I need those precious calories to keep me going.

  9. So glad you enjoyed the salad jony. Personally, I go with the full fat Roquefort but it’s nice to have options for those counting calories.

  10. Pears & stinky cheeses of any kind simply just go together. The texture of a pear is perfect for salads too. Sometimes I find the apple too crunchy & the size in slices ridiculous. If you throw an apple in a salad please cut it into chunks that help me enjoy a piece with every bite & not have to sit there crunching on a wedge for an hour. Thanks for not putting me through that, Pears.

    • Too right Joan, and the stinkier the cheese, the better! Apples have their place, but there’s something about the smooth texture and flavor of a pear that just works with blue cheese; one of my favorite combos for a salad.

  11. Years ago I got a job at Nordstrom and for lunch we ate in the cafe. I ordered a mixed green salad with pear, nuts, and cheese and loved it. I’ve tried to duplicate it (you’d think it be easy, right? Just make a salad) but to no avail. This recipe looks extremely delicious and I think it might just be the thing I need to satisfy this years long craving for my favorite salad to date! Awesome!

    • Ah, but it’s that elusive combination of certain ingredients that’s so important… hope this one works for you! Or at least satisfies the craving a bit.

  12. This looks so yummy! I have been wanting to use pear in a salad lately and this just might do the trick. Just one quick question, what’s roquefort cheese? Is it like a bleu cheese in flavor or something else entirely?

    • It is yummy TomiLee! Yes, Roquefort is a bleu cheese that’s not overly sharp – and be can substitued with Gorgonzola, Blue Stilton, or any bleu that you like. Enjoy!

  13. My mouth was watering looking at that photo! I love salads, and in particular anything a bit unusual. I’ve never eaten pears with cheese, but I’d definitely give this a try. If I don’t like the combination of sweet and savoury, I can always substitute the pears for the chicken. Delicious!

  14. Wow, this salad is an absolute delight! The combination of flavors from the tangy Roquefort cheese and sweet pears just melds perfectly. It’s like a party in my mouth!


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