Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Endive with Pears and Gorgonzola

Endive with Pears and Gorgonzola

If you’ve shied away from strong blue cheeses in the past, Gorgonzola dolce, sweeter than regular Gorgonzola, is a great introduction! The walnuts and pears add to the sweetness, a great counterbalance to the endive


  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 6 ripe Seckel pears or another small variety, halved through the stem ends 
  • 1/2 cup pear nectar
  • 1/4 cup pear balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons honey, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 heads endive or radicchio di Treviso, or 3 of each
  • Six 1-ounce wedges of Gorgonzola dolce or your favorite blue cheese


Step 1

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant, and then transfer them to a small bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and heat the oil. Use a small melon baller to remove any seeds from the pears and then place them, cut sides down, in the oil and cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and reserve. 

Step 2

To make the vinaigrette for the salad, use the same pan, increasing the heat to medium high. Add the pear nectar and vinegar and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture is reduced by half, then whisk in the honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the 1/3 cup of olive oil. Taste, adding more vinegar, honey, salt, and/or pepper as needed. 

Step 3

Trim the endive and remove the leaves from two of the heads; arrange them on 6 salad plates. Slice the 4 remaining heads crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and divide among the plates. On each plate, arrange 2 pear halves, a wedge of Gorgonzola, and a few of the walnuts. Lightly drizzle each dish with the vinaigrette. 

Yields 6 servings