Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
6 servings

Cranberry sauce, the base for the vinaigrette, lends a holiday flavor to this super tasty salad. You can make and refrigerate the dressing up to a week ahead.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare the vinaigrette, place the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Step 2

To prepare the salad, divide the lettuce leaves evenly among 6 salad plates. Toss pear with 2 tablespoons orange juice. Divide pear and onion evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons vinaigrette.

Ratings & Reviews

Thanksgiving Standard!

November 21, 2016
I love this salad and have been making it for years. I love it for Thanksgiving. It is so light and refreshing: the perfect savory/sweet balance. I often use Romaine lettuce because Bibb is so expensive. (we leave the Blue Cheese on the side)


October 12, 2016
Glad to have the left over dressing, really good!  I let people choose between blue cheese and crumbled feta (teen does not care for blue cheese) and sprinkle with the nuts to taste.  Definitely a keeper.  I liked the butter leaf lettuce but really any lettuce would work.

bjane1's Review

April 13, 2013
A friend brought this salad to our every Friday Night Pizza dinner last night. It was so good that I looked up the recipe to make myself. I love the idea of serving this around the winter holidays. I agree, there is more dressing than you need.

sirrah231's Review

March 22, 2013
This is a standby salad recipe for our holiday menus. I don't change a thing about it. We love it.

rstarrlemaitre's Review

January 11, 2013
Absolutely loved the combination of cranberry and ginger in the vinaigrette. I'm not even normally a red onion fan, but they worked great in this salad with the combination of tender pear, salty blue cheese, and toasty walnuts. Very Christmas-y.

nadjanovotny's Review

November 28, 2011
This was terrific! I made it for my family, and everybody loved it! I didn't have any walnuts though, so I used pecans, and I used a honeyed goat cheese instead of blue cheese. It would probably also have been good with blue cheese and walnuts, but I just didn't have them in the house. Fantastic salad, I will definitely make it again.

weaveaire's Review

February 08, 2010
I tripled this recipe (AND the dressing) and found that it was FAR too much dressing, which was tasty and got good reviews from dinner attendees. Thankfully, I saved the dressing and used it later in the week. So I would recommend doubling the dressing if/when tripling the salad content.

KDesroc's Review

December 17, 2009
This salad has became part of my annual Christmas Eve dinner since I first used it from the Dec 2001 Cooking Light issue. I make it exactly as the recipe reads and everyone always loves it. I serve it with Seafood Pie, Rice Pilaf and Green Beans with Crushed Walnuts (also from the Dec 01 issue). I recommend buying the pears in advance so they have a chance to often a bit.

MrsH0507's Review

October 07, 2009
I'm not one of those people who goes crazy over salad, but this is truly fantastic. The flavors go together wonderfully! The recipe makes plenty of vinaigrette to keep around.

falljunelaker's Review

November 28, 2008
OK, I had my doubts despite the high ratings b/c I really don't like sweet salads. We had this for Thanksgiving dinner & it was really, really good. A bright, fresh tasting salad that looked festive with the dressing, and was not sweet.