Quinoa, Pear, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad in Radicchio Cups: Fiesta Friday #25

Quinoa, Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Thyme Dressing in Radicchio Cups

Quinoa, Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Thyme Dressing in Radicchio Cups

When I see recipes with pears, walnuts and cheese I usually associate them with the fall, but I felt compelled to make this recipe right now, smack dab in the middle of summer. And you know what?  It’s perfect for summer.  The quinoa is light; the pears are sweet and juicy; the walnuts, crunchy; and the blue cheese and thyme add the right amount of rich earthiness to create a wonderfully balanced salad that is excellent for a summer picnic or a light lunch on the deck.  I would serve this salad with some spicy chicken kabobs and a crisp glass of Pinot Gris. Wow, summer never tasted so good!  And for anyone who thinks they may hold off till the fall to make this salad?  Well hey;  like the song says,  ♪ It’s five o’clock fall somewhere ♪.

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I am bringing a huge platter of these radicchio cups over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday tonight and I am really hoping that everyone will love them as much as my hubby and I did!  I am also excited to tell you that my lovely, earthy  friend, Hilda, of Along the Grapevine, and I are thrilled to by co-hosting Fiesta Friday tonight. Look out because Hilda and I have co-hosted this awesome virtual soirée together before,  and we are on top of it!  We may just know a few bits of gossip or where to find Angie’s secret stash of select cocktails!.  Let us know what you need, because we are here to help you.  I may be a bit late to the party tonight, but don’t despair, I promise I will be catching up with all of you as soon as I can get there!

For any of you who are completely new to Fiesta Friday, we welcome you! Joining this virtual party is a wonderful way to meet new blogger friends and to gain exposure and views. I suggest that you read these guidelines to get an overview of how the party works. Just be sure to link your post to Angie’s blog, as well as mine, or Hilda’s so that we know you have arrived. All you have to do is click on the button below. Happy Fiesta Friday!

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 I found this recipe in “Quinoa Revolution”, by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming.  My one comment is that if you put all of the salad dressing on this amount of salad, it will become very soggy.  I suggest that you pour the dressing on sparingly and taste it until you think you have the right balance.  Also, separating the radicchio leaves to make the cups is finicky.  You could just shred the lettuce and serve the salad on top if you are in a hurry; however, the presentation won’t be as attractive.

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Quinoa, Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad in Radicchio Cups

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups water

2/3 cup quinoa

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice

¼ cup white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

salt

2 ripe pears (Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou)

¼ cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

¼ cup sliced green onions

1 head radicchio

Method:

Combine the water, quinoa and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and allow to stand on the element, covered for 5 minutes.  Remove from the element, and gently fluff with a fork.  Set aside to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple juice, vinegar, oil, thyme and salt.  Set aside.

In a small skillet, gently toast the walnuts until they become fragrant.

Peel the pears if the skin is thick.  Core and dice the pears to make 1 ½ cups.  Add the pears to the dressing and gently toss to coat completely.  Add the cooled quinoa, walnuts, blue cheese and green onions.  Toss gently.

Just before serving, separate the radicchio leaves by cutting at the base of the head.  Leaves that are 3 ½ to 4 inches across are the perfect size.  Place one leaf on each plate and divide the salad between the lettuce cups.  Serve immediately.

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102 Responses to “Quinoa, Pear, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad in Radicchio Cups: Fiesta Friday #25”

  1. Hilda

    I really need something to eat before the party gets underway and this light, nutritious salad looks perfect as an appetizer before all the other dishes and entertainment arrive. Thanks for co-hosting with me, and will no doubt see you around at the fiesta.

    Reply
  2. chefjulianna

    Hi Hilda! So glad I could provide you with a bite to keep up your energy for all of tonight’s festivities! As always it is such a pleasure to co-host with you. I’ll be popping in and out, so we’ll catch up for sure. Enjoy!

    Reply
  3. Lori

    Ah!!!! I love this!!!! I mean, I really love this Julianna!! I adore quinoa and never thought to do something so delicious like this with it! I guarantee you that I will be trying this out! So, so excited! I am going to try to be nice and not eat it all up before the rest of the party goers get to FF! 😉 Thanks for co hosting again! You definitely make a lovely co host!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Ahh Lori! You go ahead and eat as much as you want! I have stashed a second bowl in the fridge and can whip up a few more when the plate gets empty. So glad you are going to try making them. It is my pleasure to co-host again: with such lovely guests like yourself, it is just so much fun! Enjoy the party! 😀

      Reply
      • Lori

        Hey Julianna! Was wondering if you would be interested in doing a guest post for me sometime in August. We are going to be in the midst of moving, and it would really bless me. I thought of you for so many reasons! Let me know! I am gone on vacation so won’t be able to get back to you for a little over a week and a half. But if you want to do it, you let me know when would be best for you. Only requirement? Low-glycemic, no refined sugars. 🙂

      • chefjulianna

        Hey Lori! Thanks so much for thinking of me! I would be delighted to do a guest post for you. I’m not really sure how it works because I have never done one before. Do I just email you the post, or how do I get it to you on your blog? Just let me know the date and we can figure it out. I think I can come up with something low-glycemic 🙂

      • Lori

        P.s. Would u delete my email address once you see it? Thanks so much! I’m so excited to be the first person you have guest posted for… I’m shocked tons of people haven’t already snatched you up! You are amazing!

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks so much, Margy! So glad you like the look of the dish. I will always have fun co-hosting. I love this party just as much as everyone! Enjoy! 😀

      Reply
  4. sabine

    The combination evokes the same association in me (cold season, brrr), but what a nice surprise that´s a great summer dish!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Ah hah! Glad to know I’m not the only one that makes that association. Well I hope you enjoy it, any time of the year! 😀

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Sarah! Hope you are enjoying the party! Can I get you anything? A fresh glass of Sangria? A clean plate? Just let me know… 🙂

      Reply
  5. Chitra Jagadish

    Whoa I am in love with this seasonal salad, the way you describe it, who wouldn’t fall in love? great presentation toooo….yum…

    Reply
  6. apuginthekitchen

    These little boats are wonderful, I think I could eat a dozen, well maybe not that many but I do love everything in them. So good to see you co hosting again!!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh thanks, Suzanne! I’m happy to be co-hosting this amazing soiree again! Yes, these are very easy to eat! I’ve already had several myself! Glad to see you at the party again. Let me know if there is anything I can get you 🙂

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Ahh, thanks Linda! This is just the most fun virtual party around and I’m super happy that I can be part of it by co-hosting! Hope you are enjoying yourself too! 😀

      Reply
  7. flavourphotos

    What a fabulous idea to use the cabbage leaves as bowls – love it!
    They’ve got such a great colour and are so versatile… I used cabbage juice powder in the pretty icing for this week’s Fiesta Friday cakes.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Well, I’m so glad you like it. I actually used radicchio which is much softer than cabbage, but I could see how a cabbage leaf would make for a very nice presentation. You have given me a wonderful idea! Hope you are enjoying the party. By the way, I have never heard of cabbage juice powder, but it is also a great idea and I am going to investigate that more. 😀

      Reply
      • flavourphotos

        I did wonder where the whole head of radicchio went in the cups… Serves me right for reading blogs late at night when I should be in bed… but oh, such fun! My mind must have been completely focussed on red cabbage 😉

  8. thebrookcook

    Beautiful!! I’m making this next time I get radicchio in my CSA box! We grilled radicchio last night & I’m the only one in the family who enjoyed it 😦

    Reply
  9. skd

    This is the kind of food I was looking for in the party. Fresh and healthy. Thanks for bringing it dear 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      You are very welcome! I love summer because there is no end of fresh and healthy food all around us! Why not make some gorgeous recipes with it all? Hope you are enjoying the party! 😀

      Reply
  10. Ahila

    A lovely flavourful salad. Thank you for sharing this and for co-hosting the fiesta! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Sue

    This is my perfect meal — I love salads but don’t like eating them with a fork . . . I always want a spoon and extra dressing, and want to stuff them into pita pockets or tortillas. I like eating little packages with my hands for some reason. So: this is a winner for me. Also, radicchio — love it!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Sue! Well, it is more efficient to eat them as packages, and you have fewer dishes to wash too! Glad you like the recipe. Have fun at the party! 😀

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      🙂 It’s always nice to put it all together, don’t you think? My brain is always matching flavours. Glad you like the look of it!

      Reply
  12. weebirdiecafe

    Radicchio cup looks so pretty! I love blue cheese and walnuts salad, I do agree that quinoa make this salad summer salad! yum!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Well thanks so much, Naina! I have been doing this more and more lately. It really works for parties. Are you having fun at the party? Sure hope so! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Suchitra

    Love the salad in radicchio cups. I love quinoa, love walnuts & pear so it is a perfect one for me!!

    Reply
  14. petra08

    It looks delicious. I can imagine the sweet pear with the bitter radicchio, even better with the blue cheese and quinoa is always delicious. I have a large pile of your great recipes printed out to cook! 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hi Petra! Yes, this is a great balance of flavours! And let me know when you try some of those recipes, huh? It’s always fun to have the feedback! 🙂 Have a great week!

      Reply
  15. saucygander

    Hello Chef! This is the perfect party platter to get the Fiesta started. Sorry I’m a little late visiting your post, just getting around to visiting all the FF entries! Thank you for hosting so perfectly this week!!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Saucy! My pleasure to co-host! No worries about getting to the party late! We can party for days 😀 . You’ve been very busy getting back from a trip. It takes time to get settled in again, doesn’t it?

      Reply
  16. Aditi

    That looks very refreshing, Julianna! After all the indulgence, we so needed this! 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      LOL! Yes, it’s nice to take a little break from all of the indulgences of FF, isn’t it? Then we can just go back at it full on 😀

      Reply
  17. chefjulianna

    My pleasure! I eat tons of salads too and will have a few more in upcoming posts. Hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! Thanks so much for commenting! 😀

    Reply
  18. Namrata

    Yummy! Love everything about this salad. Am so glad I browsed through your site. awesome recipes and beautiful photography.

    Reply
  19. chefjulianna

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Liz! Hope you’re having a great summer. You are posting so many really awesome recipes! How do you do it?

    Reply
  20. Pang @circahappy

    Those are such a cute ‘cup,’ and the combination of pear, quinoa, walnut & blue cheese looks so good. It could almost taste the awesomeness ❤

    Your photos are great, Julianna 🙂

    Reply

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