Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Pear Salad with Blue Cheese, Olive Oil, and Mint

Pear Salad with Blue Cheese

South of Melbourne is Tasmania’s King Island, recognized around the world for its outstanding dairy products. One of them is a particularly unctuous waxed blue cheese known as “Roaring 40s Blue.” It is named after the punishing 100 km/hr winds (62 mph) that bedevil the latitude of 40°S. If unavailable, substitute your favorite blue cheese, such as gorgonzola or Roquefort.


  • 2 large ripe red Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and cut into thick wedges
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, preferably from King Island, brought to room temperature and cut into wedges
  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, toasted and lightly crushed
  • Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style white bread


Divide the pears among 4 salad plates and season with salt. Arrange a wedge of cheese and 3 dates on each plate. Drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with the mint and peppercorns. Serve with the sliced country bread for dipping in the olive oil.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallmann (Artisan 2014)