Greens with Fruit, Cheese, and Nuts

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 to 30 minutes

The classic combination here, a restaurant standard from the nineties, is pears, Gorgonzola, and walnuts. But all sorts of trios are possible, ranging from an all-American mix of apples, cheddar, and hazelnuts to the borderline wildness of cherries, goat cheese, and pistachios and the other combos in the list at right. Generally, I like the strong flavor of blues and other aged varieties here, but feta and Parmesan are reasonable choices too. When it comes to the nuts, go with flavors and textures that complement the fruit and the cheese.

About 1 pound fresh fruit or 1 cup dried

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 ounces Gorgonzola or other creamy blue cheese

3/4 cup shelled walnuts or other nuts

6 cups mixed greens, like mesclun, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces

About 1/2 cup Vinaigrette, made with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

01 Peel and core the fruit if necessary and remove any seeds or pits. If large, cut the fruit into 1/2-inch chunks. Toss the fruit with the lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

02 Crumble the cheese into small bits; cover and refrigerate until needed. Place the nuts in a dry skillet, turn the heat to medium, and toast them, shaking the pan frequently until they are aromatic and beginning to darken in color, 3 to 5 minutes.

03 When you’re ready to serve, toss the pears, cheese, and greens together with as much of the dressing as you like. Chop the nuts coarsely, sprinkle them over all, and serve.

10 Good Fruit, Cheese, and Nut Combinations

  1. Grapes, Parmesan, pine nuts
  2. Oranges, manchego, almonds
  3. Apricots, goat cheese, pecans
  4. Dried apricots, blue cheese, walnuts
  5. Cantaloupe or honeydew, cotija, pepitas
  6. Blueberries, Asiago, pistachios
  7. Dried plums, feta, hazelnuts
  8. Dried pineapple, Brie, cashews
  9. Peaches, ricotta salata, pecans
  10. Plums, fontina, almonds