Edward Hayden’s Poached Pears, Rocket, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad

(Serves 6)


Blue cheese is one of my favourite cheeses and the diverse combinations in this particular salad work exceptionally well with the cheese. You have a sense of sweet, salty, nutty and peppery in each mouthful. Because of the variation in colour this salad, as well as being super healthy, is also highly visually impressive.


  • 6 large firm pears
  • 4oz/110g sugar
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Approximately 1 pint/600ml Water
  • 1 lemon-cut into wedges
  • 12oz/350g Cashel blue cheese
  • 18-24 walnuts
  • 5oz/150g fresh rocket


Place the sugar, lemon wedges, white wine and water in a large pot.

Carefully peel the pears trying in so far as possible to retain the shape of the pear.

Drop the pears into the saucepan of sweetened liquids.

Bring the mixture slowly to the boil and simmer for between 20-30 minutes or until the pears have softened to the touch. Top the liquid up with some additional water if required. Use a cocktail stick to test the softness of the pears.

Allow the pears to cool down in this liquid.

When the pears are cool, take a sharp knife and remove the core of the pear and cut them into evenly sized wedges.

Arrange the rocket on one large serving platter. Arrange chunks of the blue cheese and some halved walnuts on top and then add the wedges of pear of the pears. Drizzle the salad with a small amount of the cooled syrup-just enough to dress the rocket leaves.

Crack some black pepper across the top of the pears and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley or chervil.

Additional Notes:

If desired you can add some torn parma ham to the salad.