Pear and Stilton Salad – Progressive #SundaySupper

Pear and Stilton Salad | Magnolia DaysHave you ever participated in a progressive dinner? It is so much fun and can really make for a entertaining evening. All you need to do is get a group of people to host a course at their house. It is great for a neighborhood event because you can walk from one home to another. A traveling potluck. It is interesting also because each part of the meal has a different setting.

Pear and Stilton Salad

This progressive dinner is a virtual one. My friend Isabel, @familyfoodie on twitter, is a true believer in the joys of a family Sunday Supper. She has been generating quite the conversation each Sunday on twitter using the #SundaySupper hashtag. So many people are joining in and tweeting what they are having along with recipes and photos. It is a wonderful resource for inspiration and conversation about food and family meals.

My Pear and Stilton Salad is for the salad course of this virtual progressive #SundaySupper. Fresh pear, stilton cheese, toasted walnuts, onions, all tossed together with a homemade sherry vinaigrette. The surprise part is the onions – I use cocktail onions. Sounds strange right? Trust me, they are great in this salad. The tangy flavor balances with the sweetness of the pears. Give it a try and you might find yourself putting cocktail onions in other salads too.

Don’t forget the wine! Eileen, @WineEveryday on twitter, has recommended a nice Cotes du Rhone Blanc to pair with the salad. You can find a full review and details of the wine on her blog by clicking here -> Wine Everyday or by clicking on the link to her post below.

Thank you Isabel for inviting me to participate in this event. I am honored to be contributing to a special Sunday Supper with you and my fellow bloggers in our “Around the Family Table” virtual neighborhood.

Pear and Stilton Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Yield: 4 servings
For the salad:
  • Mixed baby greens
  • Fresh pear, peeled and sliced
  • Stilton cheese, cut into chunks
  • Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Cocktail onions, quartered
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • ½ clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ small shallot, chopped
  • ½ to ⅔ cup good olive oil
For the salad:
  1. Quantities vary depending on number of servings. Use your own judgement and preferences. I generally use equal quantities of the pear, stilton, and walnuts with a little less portion of the onions.
  2. Put the mixed baby greens, pear slices, stilton chunks, walnut pieces, and cocktail onions in a large bowl. Add some of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. You can always add more vinaigrette to your preference.
For the vinaigrette:
  1. Put mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and shallot in a blender. Put the lid on and blend on high speed until ingredients are combined. Turn the blender on low speed, remove the lid (or the middle of the lid), and slowly pour ½ cup of olive oil in to the mixture. Turn blender off. Taste. If too vinegar-y add more oil with blender on low speed. Add in increments, stopping to taste, until it has the right oil/vinegar balance to you.
  2. Pour into salad dressing shaker/container. Use immediately. Store leftover in the refrigerator.
  3. If chilled, take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before using again to get to room temperature. Shake to re-combine as it will separate.


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  1. says

    Renee, this salad is remarkably simple to toss together! The toasted walnuts add such a nice depth to the freshness of the greens & pear. I think the pairing with Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc is perfect, as it too has both freshness and depth.

    PS, Left over toasted walnuts are great to noch on with manchago cheese after dinner!

  2. says

    This salad looks so good. I am a big fan of the salty, sweet and tangy combo. I’ve never thought of putting cocktail onions in a salad but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be delicious. I’ll keep an eye out for pears next time I go to the store, this is too delicious to pass by!

    • says

      Thank you Erin. I was inspired to use the cocktail onions because I had a salad similar to this during one of my trips to Napa/Sonoma. Now I put them in a lot of salads.

  3. says

    Renee, this is an awesome salad! I love Stilton, and your Sherry Vinaigrette looks simply remarkable. Adding pears to salads always makes me happy. Thank you so much for this addition to our #SundaySupper progressive dinner!

    • says

      Thanks Jeff! Once I started making my own salad dressings I can’t imagine a salad with store-bought dressing. I just vary the vinegar and will add fresh herbs sometimes also.

  4. says

    this salad looks great! i think the idea of the virtual progressive sunday supper is a wonderful one, although i think it might be even more fun to do one in person! thinking of asking some of our neighbors if they want to do one soon. thanks for the awesome idea! =)

    • says

      You should do a progressive dinner. They are so much fun. I did one with some neighbors for New Year’s one time and hoping we can do another one soon.

  5. says

    Hi Renee, That salad looks absalutely Delish ! I love pears and will definately try this out. The Dressing is fab too. Couls use that for alot of salads ! Thanks for sharing and was lovely participating in the Sunday Supper with you !

    • says

      Thank you! I had such fun with the Sunday Supper and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Glad we had such a good team to make it a success.


  1. […] What was that tiny seed? It was a tweet by my friend Isabel asking what was for Sunday Supper. The response was incredible. It’s evident as to how special a Sunday family meal is to people everywhere including me. It’s why I became a part of it from the very beginning. I replied to that tweet and watched the joyful responses to Isabel week after week. That first virtual dinner was a lot of fun and so have been all the ones since. My contribution to the first progressive dinner was a pear and stilton salad. […]

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