Pear Salad With arugula and smoked gouda

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Pear Salad

The combination of smoky cheese, sweet pear and honey-mustard dressing gives this salad big flavor. If you don’t like arugula, replace some or all of it with baby spinach. Quickly crush pistachios by putting them in a plastic bag and mashing with a rolling pin.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium-sized fresh pear
  • Lemon juice
  • 4 cups fresh baby arugula
  • ½ cup julienne-cut carrots
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ⅓ cup julienne-cut or shredded smoked gouda
  • ⅓ cup coarsely crushed roasted and salted shelled pistachios


  1. Put the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Peel, core and thinly slice the pear. Use your finger to lightly brush each slice with lemon juice to prevent browning.

  3. Place the arugula in a medium-sized serving bowl. Add the carrots and onion, and gently toss with your hands. Arrange the pear slices on top, then add the smoked gouda. Drizzle the dressing lightly on the salad. Sprinkle with the pistachios and serve immediately.

  4. Refrigerate leftover dressing in a covered jar for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature and shake before using. 

Note: If you can’t find white balsamic vinegar, substitute white wine vinegar. Do not use regular balsamic.

Recipe courtesy of

Debbie Moose ( has authored seven cookbooks and is a former food editor for The News & Observer in Raleigh.

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