Fall is always a trip down memory lane for me, and this recipe is inspired by one of the first trips that Michael and I took together years ago. On a romantic trip to Tuscany, I was captivated by a beautiful salad that seemed to mimic the serenity around us. When I returned home, I found I was often craving the well-balanced bite of pear, pistachios, lettuce, and gorgonzola. The recipe I’m sharing with you below was the result of that inspiration. It’s just perfect for this early-Fall season as it’s still warm enough to enjoy some crisp greens. It also makes use of the pears aplenty found at your farmer’s market.  Plus, if your calendar’s as overloaded as mine is, you’ll truly love how simple it is to throw together! This makes for a great appetizer or accompaniment to a pasta dish.

Perfect Pear & Pistachio Salad
Perfect Pear & Pistachio Salad
Print Recipe Perfect Pear & Pistachio Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Fall, Salad
Servings: 4 people


Sherry Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese, preferably imported, crumbled
  • 1 large ripe but firm pear, such as Bartlett, cored, peeled, and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 2 Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Sherry Vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing has thickened.


  • In a large bowl, toss together the red-leaf lettuce and the dressing.
  • Season generously with pepper.
  • Divide the salad among serving plates.
  • Scatter the nuts, cheese, and pear chunks over the salads and serve immediately.

Celebration and Gratitude

Now, in case you didn’t know, it was my birthday on Monday. And while I did have a great celebration with friends and loved ones, I knew that I needed to do something more than just that. It’s hard not to feel the daily pains of all the world’s tragedies right now, and I figured there was no better way to celebrate the life that I’m so lucky to have than to give back to those who need our help. I requested that my guests donate to some of these charities instead of showering me with gifts. If you feel compelled to give, please do so!

Napa and Sonoma Valley Fire Relief

Puerto Rico Relief Fund

Houston Relief Fund

Finally, this week’s New York Times Food Section ran a feature about technology in the kitchen. As a longtime culinary explorer,  I’m thrilled that my Instant Pot has recently arrived! I’ve just started playing around with it, and I can’t wait to share some of the results.  Stay tuned for the next post as we get down and dirty in this miracle machine.