Royal Riviera® Pear, Smoke Blue Cheese, Watercress Salad with Hazelnuts Recipe

The beautiful perfect pear … Harry & David’s famous Royal Riviera® Pear.

Beautifully wrapped and packaged in a gift.

Still on the branches from this orchard tour.

Or, like today, sliced to perfection and served in a culinary creation!

Makes my mouth water just thinking of a pear, my favorite fruit – ever!

Most of my readers know I grew up here in Medford, Oregon, home of Harry & David. My aunts and mother all worked the pear orchards in some capacity during their growing up teen/early 20s years. The eldest of my mom’s siblings retired from H&D in her 60s, 30 years ago.

Besides the Royal Riviera® Pear, Harry & David is also known for gourmet premium fruit gifts, fine chocolates, baked goods, confections and home décor accessories.

I was more than proud to introduce my 12 blogging friends, who came to Medford and toured Harry & David last month, to the 19 orchards, with over 700,000 pear trees, in my home town.

Classy company — H&D had a “welcome reception” for us right in the orchard, with the Royal Riviera® Pear as the showcase centerpiece.

I’m partnering with Harry & David today, using a recipe created by esteemed Chef Elizabeth Falkner. She’s created a fresh delicious salad using the famous Royal Riviera® Pears. (We’ll be seeing more of Chef Falkner, as she returns to Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, premiering later this month.) :)

This recipe can easily be re-created at home using these simple ingredients.

I must say, I rarely use watercress lettuce, but I’m so glad that Chef Falkner put it back on my culinary radar. It’s so light and airy, it pairs perfectly with the smoked cheese, hazelnuts, and chunks of pear (tossed with lemon zest and juice).

Good enough for any dinner party.

It will be my holiday go-to recipe when I’m either asked to bring a salad, or entertaining in my home!

To me, “pear-anything” says “holiday.”

Do you find pears to be an easy entertaining piece of fruit?

Kitchen Tip: It’s true, the recipe calls preferably to use a Microplane for the lemon zest. If you don’t have one of these tools, put it on your Christmas list this year. The ultra fine zest really makes the recipe!


Recipe: Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pear, Smoke Blue Cheese, Watercress Salad with Hazelnuts {}


  • 2 ea. Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pears
  • 1/4 c. smoked blue cheese
  • 3 c. watercress, rinsed and dried
  • 1 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 t. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. crushed roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 t. Maldon or Kosher salt
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • A few grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • A few gratings of lemon zest, preferable on a Microplane grater


  1. Slice the Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pears into 1/4 ” slices or chunks. Add the pears to a large bowl and toss the lemon zest and juice over the pears.
  2. Add the smoked blue cheese in small bits, as well as the watercress and hazelnuts.
  3. Sprinkle on the white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and toss the salad together, gently.
  4. Pour into a festive bowl and serve!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


Harry & David has provided me with a stipend for time and materials invested in their Harry & David Cooks Up A Seasonal Chef Program with Top Culinary Experts. As always, all opinions shared are my own.

14 comments on “Royal Riviera® Pear, Smoke Blue Cheese, Watercress Salad with Hazelnuts Recipe”

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  3. What a gorgeous salad! I know how delicious those Harry and David pears and blue cheese are. Yum!

  4. Pingback: Pear, Blue Cheese, and Watercress Salad Recipe - Field Notes | Field Notes

  5. We’ll definitely be having this this month. We are huge blue cheese fans. Looks divine. Great post.

  6. Oh my word, Sandy, my husband would LOVE this salad! We all like watercress. He absolutely loves pears and bleu cheese. Smoked bleu cheese? I’ve never even heard of that, but it sounds divine!

    I want to come to Medford! Maybe I need to schedule a trip to the West Coast. Question: how far are you from Salem? I have a good friend who lives there. :)

  7. That cheese is absolutely to-die-for. And with the H&D pears? Well, I can’t think of a better combination!

  8. Sandy, you are such a wonderful hostess, we can all learn a thing or two from you. This salad sounds amazing!!

  9. Hi! I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for some time now. I’ve tried a couple of your recipes and enjoyed them. If I may say, lately your blog seems like one long advertisement for Harry and David. I’ve stopped reading these posts; I just skip to the end to see if the recipe can be adapted to grocery store foods.
    Just an observation – I’m still going to read your blog!

    • Hi, Denise. Yes, you can find all of these products in the grocery store. I took the salad to a potluck last night and it was devoured! Quickly! :) Enjoy!

  10. Triple yum for the pears and this delicious salad!!

  11. heavenly recipe – i love salads that can be easily made in the winter! i’ve honestly never done a lot of entertaining that has incorporated pears, but they’re such a gorgeous fruit and so delicious too! apparently i need to get on that ;)

  12. I love pears, and Harry and David’s Royal Riviera pears are the best! I often receive them as gifts during the Christmas holiday season. They are always packaged so beautifully and they are so fresh and delicious. I love this salad, and can’t wait to make it. I hope I can find some smoked blue cheese!

  13. I love everything about this post. I love Harry and Davids fruits (sometimes we get a package as a Christmas gift), I love pears and pear salad. I agree a microplane grater is a must have in the kitchen. I make a similar pear salad with spinach and walnuts, Now I am going to trade those out for the watercress and hazelnuts in your recipe. BTW, we have always called those nuts Filberts and growing up I picked up many of them in the orchards of the Willamette Valley.


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