Pear, Green Beans, Blue Cheese and Walnuts with Green Peppercorn Dressing


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a starter

Appears in



By Christine McFadden

Published 2008

  • About

Green peppercorns add a subtle spicy aromatic note with a gentle piquant aftertaste. This is a perfect salad to make in autumn using new season ‘wet’ walnuts.


  • green beans (preferably slim French ones) 125 g/ oz
  • pear 1, plus ¼ leftover from the dressing
  • lemon juice a squeeze
  • sea salt flakes to taste
  • rocket or watercress 4 small handfuls, coarse stalks removed
  • walnuts shelled and roughly chopped to make 4 tbsp
  • blue cheese 50 g/ oz, crumbled

For the Dressing

  • pear 1
  • lemon juice 1 tbsp
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • dried green peppercorns 2 tsp, crushed
  • sea salt a pinch


Top and tail the beans and place in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Steam until only just tender – about 5 minutes. Tip onto a board and chop into 4cm/1½in pieces. Leave to cool.

Now make the dressing. Quarter and core the pear, saving one quarter to add to the salad. Peel and roughly chop the rest. Put in a blender or small food processor with the lemon juice, olive oil, crushed green peppercorns and a sprinkle of sea salt. Process for 30 seconds until smooth, then pour into a small jug.

To make the salad, quarter and core the pear but do not peel. Cut crossways into thin slices, including the quarter pear left from the dressing. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

Put the pear slices and beans in a bowl and toss with about 5 tablespoons of the dressing – enough to coat. Season with a pinch of crumbled sea salt flakes.

Arrange the greenery in a serving dish or on individual plates. Add the pear mixture and strew the nuts and cheese over the top. Spoon over some more dressing.


Cobnuts are a delicious alternative to walnuts. Make sure they are fresh and moist.