Tessa Kiros’ summer pear, nuts and blue cheese salad recipe

This refreshing summer throw together is part cheese platter, part salad making it the ultimate girl dinner. Sweet pears, crunchy walnuts and bitey blue cheese are drizzled with a zesty vinaigrette, making it the summer salad you never knew you needed.



  • 30g shelled walnut halves
  • 30g shelled whole
    macadamia nuts
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • about 220g mixed salad leaves (such as pink and red radicchio, endive, frisee or other)
  • 2 small firm but ripe pears
  • 4 seeded dates, halved, quite finely sliced
  • 100g crumbly blue cheese (such
    as Stilton, Roquefort, Bergader
    or Danish Blue), in 4 chunks
  • 160g black grapes, in 4 clusters


  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp good red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ruby port (or sherry
    or similar)
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a small baking tray with baking paper. Put the walnuts and macadamia nuts into a small bowl. Splash with 1 tablespoon of water, scatter with ¼ teaspoon of salt and mix through well.

Step 2. 

Scrape it all out on to the prepared baking tray and toast in the oven for almost 8 minutes or until pale golden and a bit crisp (take care not to burn them as they become bitter).

Step 3.

Divide the salad leaves among 4 plates and sprinkle with a little salt. Peel the pears (or leave unpeeled) and cut into quarters or chunks, then divide among the plates in a pile. Scatter the dates around the plates, then add a chunk of cheese on each.

Step 4.

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding a little salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle about 1½ tablespoons on each plate, over the leaves especially.

Step 5.

Divide the walnuts and macadamias among the plates, add a cluster of grapes to each, give everything a good grinding of black pepper and serve.

Serves 4. 


Now & Then Edited extract from Now & Then by Tessa Kiros, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $59.99. Photography: Manos Chatzikonstantis.