Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad

 A simple and refreshing cucumber salad, autumn-ified with pears, pistachios, blue cheese, and cranberries. An easy and healthy fall side dish…to combat all the football food.

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

 My mom came over right as I was finishing up this salad. I plopped a bowl in front of her and she looked down and said, “What are these?”

“What are what?”
“These nuts.”
“Mom. They’re pistachios.”

(Long pause)

Me: “You’ve never had pistachios.”

(Guilty look.)

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

Do you guys see where I’m coming from here?? Now you know why I call myself a Food Charlatan. Look at my roots.

Anyway, after my mom tried this salad she decided that pistachios are very delicious indeed. (No duuuuuuh mom)

I just texted her to clarify again that she really hadn’t tried them, and she told me that the only nuts she likes are chocolate covered almonds, and pecans. (But only in pecan pie.)

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

Oh, did I mention that her dad was an almond farmer? She grew up surrounded by nuts. Literally.

Well Mom, sorry these pistachios aren’t covered in chocolate or brown sugar. But you have to admit they taste mighty fine in this salad.

I don’t know what it is with you guys and cucumber salad. My Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad is my most popular post ever and has over 350,000 pins on Pinterest. This Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad is a close runner-up. I was craving cucumber salad, but wanted something autumn-y.

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

And so this Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad was born. It’s pretty freaking delicious. The cucumbers are light enough that they serve as a pleasant background to the sweet pears, tangy bleu cheese, and salty pistachios.

The best part is how easy this is to throw together. This would be a great healthy side dish to bring to a football party, or you could even pin it for Thanksgiving. I think it would make a light and surprising side dish.

 Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad

Yield: Makes 6-8 side servings


  • 2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin (see photos)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 ripe but firm red pears, sliced (I used Starkrimson)
  • 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup pistachios


  1. Place the thinly sliced cucumbers into a colander. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and stir to distribute. Let the colander sit in the sink for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This helps the cucumbers release some of their liquid.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl stir together the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add the sliced red onions and stir to coat.
  3. When the cucumbers are ready, add them to the onions and stir.
  4. Add the dried cranberries and sliced pears. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with bleu cheese and pistachios and serve immediately.


This salad is best served immediately. If you want to make it ahead of time, add everything to the salad except the pears and the pistachios. Pears are so delicate (and brown so easily) that it's best to slice them just before you are going to eat. The pistachios will start to get soft if you let them sit in the salad, so reserve them and sprinkle them over each serving if you want.


Source: The Food Charlatan

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

The cucumber on the left is too thick. Try to slice it really thin, like the one on the right. Use a mandolin if you have one.
PS: note my very groomed fingernails. I’m trying to redeem myself. I got hate mail from (crazy) people who didn’t like my chipped nail polish in this same demonstration on my Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad recipe. I don’t really care, but you would not believe how many people will pin the ugly-fingernail picture instead of the pretty-cucumbers shot (thousands!), and I have to say it was pretty weird seeing my chipped nails all over Pinterest.

Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com

 Here’s how I sliced my pears. I didn’t want to chop them too small because I was afraid they would just get pulverized when I stirred. I liked this size. This is a quarter of a pear, repeat with the other 3 sections.

Other recipes you might like:

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad:

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad

Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad:
Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad

 Pineapple Spinach Salad:

Pineapple Spinach Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com This twist on the Strawberry Spinach Salad is easy and bright-tasting!

 Other salads from friends:

Blueberry Corn Salad with Prosciutto from Recipe Girl
Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with Pistachios and Goat Cheese from Garnish with Lemon
Strawberry Bacon Salad with Greek Yogurt Poppyseed Dressing from Lauren’s Latest





  1. says

    oh my gawd, I love this salad!!! and of course I just pinned the other two too!! :P Your mom might be like my mom. . my dad, on the other hand, is a nut fiend and eats them all! and Diamond now sells pistachios already shelled so watch out! Making this stat! and the nails comment made me laugh. . I always have horrible nails and cringe at myself when I have to hold things and take photos. . my sister always says something to me about it. :)
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Zucchini Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter SauceMy Profile

  2. sarah says

    I will be making this. Perfect for the still-warm south Texas fall. This is such an original idea! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.

  3. Misty mi says

    Oh my gosh this cracks me up so hard!!! Last summer while helping my parents at the hot dog restaurant we went to a nut shop. I bought some spicy pistachios (love) and gave one to my mom to try. The next thing I hear is this huge CRACK!!! Come to find out she had never had them either and didn’t realize there was a shell there! haha So Janice at least you and mom are both equally sheltered. :)


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