Chicory Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, Honey Roasted Pears, and Candied Walnuts

Source: Greg D’Alessandro, Waterbar

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe featuring Star Route Farms was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on February 9, 2019.                             

Serves 4


Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup crumbled Pt. Reyes Farmstead blue cheese
¾ cup sour cream
¼ clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Honey Candied Walnuts

2 cups walnuts
4 ounces sugar
2 ounces water
½ ounce honey
¼ ounce corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt

Chicory Salad

2 pears
2 ounces honey
4 ounces calvados or other brandy
1 ounce canola or other neutral cooking oil
½ pound Star Route Farms chicories
6 ounces blue cheese dressing (see below)
Salt and pepper
2 ounces Pt. Reyes Farmstead blue cheese, crumbled
4 ounces candied walnuts (see below)
1 teaspoon honey, for garnish


To prepare the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender until everything is fully incorporated. The dressing should be smooth and creamy with no chunks of blue cheese. The recipe makes more dressing than needed for the salad, and can be refrigerated for 3-5 days.

To prepare the walnuts: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread walnuts out on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Turn off heat and stir in nuts, tossing until completely coated. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan and spread nuts out on rack. Roast for 8 minutes until nuts are toasted. Cool completely before using.

To prepare the pears: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut each pear in half and scoop out the cores with a melon baller. Toss pears with honey and brandy in a bowl. Heat a sauté pan with a heat-proof handle, large enough to contain the pears in a single layer, over medium heat. Add the oil. Place pears cut side down and transfer to oven. Cook until pears are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer pears to a plate so they don’t overcook.

To prepare the salad: Toss chicories with dressing, making sure to coat greens evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Assemble dressed chicories in a nice tall pile in the center of each of 4 plates. Set a warm pear half next to the greens on each plate. Using your hands, sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese over each, then crumble the candied walnuts over each. Drizzle with honey. Serve while pears are still warm.

Farmers Market Ingredients