Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quillIt’s a big day here at the Pig & Quill. And not just because October walloped my unsuspecting self like the Kraken taking down a ship adrift. Ok, well that’s part of it. Because wasn’t it June, like, 48 hours ago? NOPE. Try again. It wasn’t even June 48 days ago. Man, feeling like a sucka…sucks.

But back to getting pumped. Today, my pretty friends, The Pig & Quill kitchen is being featured on none other than: The Kitchn! (In case you didn’t catch that, here’s the link.) I’m tempted to feel like a pretty big frickin’ deal, but it’s really all thanks to the lovely Gina who scribbles So…Let’s Hang Out by day evening and moonlights as a contributor for The Kitchn’s schweetass Kitchen Tours series. Ain’t she a sweetheart? I have a total she-crush on her life and her pants-optional attitude. We could all totally do more with less (clothing), donchano.

Anyway, in celebration of today’s big feature — and, yes, the arrival of October — I’m finally going to take a page out of the Autumn for Dummies handbook and put some seasonal pears and fennel all up in this bizzle. It’s a non-recipe, really (as most salads tend to be) but with some bangarang flavors that you’re gonna want to use over and over again all season long.

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quill

I can see putting this alongside a pan of crisply-edged chestnut stuffing on the Thanksgiving table or pairing it with eggs marinara for a fancy pants brunch. Topped with a delicately poached egg or draped with silky prosciutto, it’d even be a meal unto itself. With a hunka crusty bread (also acceptable: burning love), of course.

So cheers to the turning season, Kitchn kitsch (one more time) and fabulously talented bloggy friends! Oh, and if you’re new here, and you’ve not yet laced up your running shoes, a big fat schpanks for stopping by — and (prepare for shameless self promo here) check all the linkies at the upper right if you wanna get in on the P&Q social media scene.


Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quill

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quill

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quill

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic | the pig & quill

Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic
By Emily Stoffel (with a little help from the schizo best friend)
Cook time: 10 mins | Serves: See note

Note: This recipe makes enough to feed at least 6 people as a side — maybe 8 if it’s part of a larger holiday spread. In other words, there’ll be salad a-plenty.


  • 1/4 cup good aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • plenty of cracked black pepper
  • coarse or flaked sea salt (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 5-6 small pears, thinly sliced
  • 1 med bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces good blue cheese, crumbled
  • crushed red chili flakes


In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic and olive oil. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together greens, pears and fennel. Scatter with blue cheese, drizzle with dressing and top with crushed red chili flakes and additional sea salt to taste.

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11 Comments on “Pear & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese & Balsamic”

  1. This looks so delicious Em! Yay for the Kitchn feature, you talented woman you! I love blue cheese with pears. I’m a little addicted. Definitely trying your version… yum! xx

    1. Thanks Laura! Did you ever get the chance to try out the grilled plums + gorgonzola recipe, but with pears instead? Bet it’s a knockout.

  2. Found you via the Kitchn feature and am diggin’ your blog. Plus we have basically the same Wedgewood stove (is yours pretty much warm all the time, too!?) and I live on the Peninsula, too. Looking forward to following along!

    1. Woohoo! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Yes, my Wedgewood stove is almost always warm — particularly the edges of the “griddle” up top, which I think exists purely to burn the crap out of my fingertips when I’m cleaning the surface. BUT it doesn’t hurt that I can dry out bread crumbs or warm plates without even turning the darn thing on!

      1. I hadn’t even thought about making bread crumbs that way! I pretty much completely ignore the griddle because I have no idea how it functions. It’s so shiny and chrom-y, are you supposed to put a pan on that!? I can’t wait until we start getting some cooler weather because I’m thinking this bad boy is going to be awesome for bread rising and baking.

        1. I don’t use the griddle either — it seems like it’d be such a B to clean — but it IS great for proofing dough (the two whole times I’ve done it) and bringing down the temp of chilled butter or too-hard ice cream!

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