We’ve got a little bit of everything in this Fall Harvest Salad! Sweet Bosc pear, bitter radicchio and endive, toasted walnuts, salty and funky gorgonzola cheese, and peppery arugula tossed with a simple maple balsamic vinaigrette. This is one of my favorite salads for Thanksgiving, fall, and holiday entertaining.
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1tablespoonaged balsamic vinegar
1tablespoonfresh lemon juice
2teaspoonspure maple syrup
1small garlic clovegrated with a microplane
2tablespoonswalnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
1small head of radicchio (about 8 oz)quartered, core removed, and thinly sliced
2endive headsends trimmed, sliced lengthwise, and cut crosswise into slices
2packed cupsbaby arugula
½cupchopped toasted walnutssee recipe notes
2ripe, but slightly firm Bosc pearscored and cut into quarters
4ounceshigh-quality Gorgonzola cheesecrumbled into small pieces
Flavor Variations and Optional Add-Ins:
shredded roast chicken
Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a large salad or mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and garlic until evenly combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking with the other hand until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble: Add the sliced radicchio, endive, arugula, and walnuts to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat evenly with the vinaigrette. Top each salad serving with pear quarters and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. Serve immediately.
How to Toast Walnuts:
To toast walnuts, preheat an oven to 350ºF (176ºC). Spread the nuts evenly on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, tossing them halfway, or until lightly brown and fragrant.
Tips for Success:
Radicchio is naturally bitter and each head will vary to some degree in flavor and bitterness level. The vinaigrette, sweet pear, and Gorgonzola all help to balance these flavors.
If you do not enjoy bitter greens, I recommend using half a head of radicchio and adding a variety of other mixed greens (or additional arugula) to compensate for volume.