This salad is a stunning addition to any table with vibrant bursts of colors from the Castelfranco radicchio next to the darker Chiogga radicchio, peppered with crisp fennel, sweet pears, toasty walnuts, and an out of this world Montchevre® Truffle Goat Cheese log. With only a handful ingredients, this salad brings all the favors--bitter, sweet, tangy, and truffle! This post was sponsored by Montchevre®. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
With summer weather in full force, salads become the main draw for our dinner parties. I am so excited to partner with Montchevre® to share one of my favorite salads with pear, radicchio, fennel, walnut, and Montchevre® Truffle Goat Cheese log. The Montchevre® original, honey, garlic and herb cheese logs are staples for our salads, frittatas, bruschetta, and savory tarts but we reserve the truffle goat cheese for special occasions like dinner parties and holiday entertaining.
How to Prep the Pears
For the salad, I used two firm Bartlett pears but Anjou or Bosc also work well. After halving and coring the pears, I cut them lengthwise into thin slices with a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline, a very sharp knife will work as well. The pear slices are placed in a bowl of water with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
How to Prep Radicchio
To prep the radicchio, remove and discard any brown or wilted leaves, then separate the leaves from the head. Toss the torn leaves in a bowl filled with cold water so they can perk up. Drain and pat them dry with paper towel when you are ready to make the salad. For larger radicchio leaves, chop them in half lengthwise, and half again.
How to Prep Fennel
For the fennel, trim the bulbs of their tops and stem end. Reserve the fennel fronds for topping the salad. Cut each bulb in half lengthwise then thinly slice it using a mandoline. Add the fennel to a bowl of cold water to keep them crisp.
Once the prep for all the component is done, I put everything in a large bowl and toss them with the salad dressing. Bitter and sweet play well together in this salad of radicchio with pear and anise-flavored fennel with the goat cheese adding the tangy richness of fresh goat milk flavor with a rich truffle undertone. The dressing is just a simple one of good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey while the walnuts bring crunch and a nuttiness.
This is no ordinary salad! Your guests will remember this distinctive grown-up salad for years to come. And don’t skim on the truffle goat cheese because it’s the hero that gives the salad that extra oomph and makes it unforgettable. When it comes to salads, it’s all about using the best ingredients. This recipe can be scaled up to serve a crowd for your dinner party or down to make a delicious dinner for one.
Pear radicchio fennel goat cheese salad
- 2 firm pears (Anjou, Bartlett, or Bosc variety), cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small head of Castelfranco radicchio, leaves torn
- 1 small head of Chiogga radicchio, leaves torn
- 4 ounces Montchevre® Truffle Goat Cheese Log, crumbled
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsps honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Scatter walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, roast for 7–10 minutes, tossing once, until golden brown. Let cool, then chop.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the pear, fennel, and radicchio in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until coated.
- Top with chopped walnuts, fennel fronds, and crumbled goat cheese.
- Serve immediately.