Pear, date & walnut salad with creamy stilton dressing

Pear, date & walnut salad with creamy stilton dressing

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins No cooking needed


Serves 6

Gary Rhodes' perfect starter for a Boxing day lunch, made with lots of leftovers from the day before

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal574
  • fat41g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre4g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.05g
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  • 3 ripe pears, quartered and cored, peel left on



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • juice 1 lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 300g stilton, crumbled, room temperature



    A true glory of British cheese-making that has much controversy about its origins, how it's…

  • 1-2 tbsp ginger syrup (from a jar of ginger in syrup)



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 100g pack broken walnuts



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

  • 12 dates (Medjool are good), stoned and chopped



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • walnut oil, for drizzling
  • 225g bag mixed salad leaves
  • 1 large watercress, divided into sprigs



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…


  1. Cut the pear quarters into thin slices and toss in a bowl with the lime juice to help protect their natural colour. Blend the crème fraîche with half the stilton, ginger syrup to taste, and enough water (3-4 tbsp) to give a smooth, thick coating consistency. (Don’t add too much water or it may separate.)

  2. Scatter the pear slices over six serving plates and follow with the walnuts, dates and remaining cheese. Can be prepared to this stage up to an hour ahead.

  3. Drizzle each salad with a little of the dressing and some walnut oil. Season with a grinding of pepper – you shouldn’t need salt, as the cheese is salty. Mix the salad leaves and watercress very lightly with just a bit more dressing – some leaves should be touched by the dressing, some untouched. Gently pile the leaves on top of each salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Oct, 2011
Works every time!
4th Jul, 2010
Easily made starter that works well for a dinner party. Its subtley flavoured by the ginger. Agree totally with comments about the dressing - and its important to ensure the leaves don't get saturated by making sure some leaves get no dressing at all - otherwise its soggy and overfacing
28th Dec, 2008
Lovely starter....really enjoyed it, and went down a treat for the family. Would echo the above though...reduce the quantities for the dressing significantly, as 300g of stilton made enough dressing to do about 20 of these. Otherwise, excellent and really easy to prepare.
27th Dec, 2008
Made this as the entree for Christmas lunch (we live in Australia so it's warm) - couldn't find any ginger in syrup so added a tsp of cumquat & grand marnier jam (homemade) for sweetness. Had heaps of cheese dressing left over, would probably reduce the quantities next time. It went down a treat with our vegetarian friends and my meat loving husband. Ticks all the boxes - simple, tasty and impressive.
18th Dec, 2007
An excellent combination of flavours. A great starter for special occasions
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