Pear, beet leaves, pomegranate & blue cheese salad

The marriage of walnuts and blue cheese is a culinary relationship that has stood the test of time. In this salad, which is perfect for late summer and autumn, our happy couple are joined by earthy, crimson-veined beet leaves, pear and pomegranate to create a passionate wee dish full of crunch and salty creaminess. Serve it with a dark sourdough loaf and a glass or two of wine. Recipes and styling by Fiona Hugues. Photography by Jani Shepherd. Gatherum Collectif.

By Fiona Hugues
  • 20 mins preparation
  • Serves 2
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  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or substitute with red wine vinegar mixed with ½ tsp sugar)
  • 9 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 whole unpeeled pears, thinly sliced, core and all – red anjou and a doyenne du comice was used here
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 handful young beetroot leaves
  • 1 handful baby cos leaves
  • about 100g good, creamy blue cheese – bleu d’auvergne was used here
  • pomegranate seeds, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves


  • 1
    Whisk together the dressing ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Leave to stand while you assemble the salad.
  • 2
    Drizzle sliced pear with a little lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the beet and cos leaves and sliced pear on a serving plate. Break up the cheese and dot in and around the leaves and pear.
  • 3
    Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds (these can easily be omitted if out of season or replaced with a few halved table grapes).
  • 4
    Just before serving, stir dressing and drizzle evenly over the salad. Sprinkle walnut halves over the top or serve in a small bowl on the side.


Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a starter. Growing your own beetroot is the best way to get a steady supply of tender leaves. The seedlings can be found at most garden centres and are easy to grow in a pot. If you cut the young leaves off here and there as needed you won’t affect the growing root, which can be harvested later when the plant matures.