Recipe: Grilled pear and watercress salad

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Recipe: Grilled pear and watercress salad

Dietitian's tip: Firm pears, such as Bosc, are best for grilling. If you choose not to grill, try Asian pears for a more crunchy texture. The nutrient values are similar.

Serves: 6


  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 firm yet ripe pears, cored and cut into 6 lengthwise wedges, peel intact
  • Lemon juice for brushing

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups watercress sprigs, tough stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese


Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, water and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the walnuts, reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and quickly spread the nuts on a sheet of parchment (baking) paper or a plate. Set aside and let cool.

Brush the pear wedges with lemon juice and arrange on the grill or broiler pan. Grill or broil, turning once, until the pears begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes total. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, rice vinegar, mustard and shallot. Add the salt and pepper and whisk to blend. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until emulsified.

In a large bowl, combine the watercress and blue cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to mix well and coat evenly.

To serve, divide the salad among individual plates. Place 2 pear wedges on each, then sprinkle with the walnuts.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Serving size:
Calories:101Cholesterol:3 mg
Protein:2 gSodium:184 mg
Carbohydrate:13 gFiber:2 g
Total fat:5 gPotassium:
Saturated fat:1 gCalcium:
Monounsaturated fat:2 g
This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.
Last Updated: 2011-04-15
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