A simple and refreshing pear cucumber salad, autumn-ified with pistachios, blue cheese, and cranberries. An easy and healthy fall side dish…to combat all the football food.
Originally posted September 25, 2014
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?”
“Mom. They’re pistachios.”
Me: “You’ve never had pistachios.”
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.)
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.
How to make Pear Cucumber 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.
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.
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.
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 fresh salads you might like:
Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad:
Greek Salad Recipe with Tons of Feta Cheese
Raspberry Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
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
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Pistachio-Pear Cucumber Salad
- 2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin (see photos)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 medium red onion, sliced thin
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 red pears, ripe but firm, sliced (I used Starkrimson)
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
- 2/3 cup pistachios
- 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.)
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl stir together the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add the sliced red onions and stir to coat.
- When the cucumbers are ready, add them to the onions and stir.
- Add the dried cranberries and sliced pears. Stir gently to combine.
- Sprinkle with bleu cheese and pistachios and serve immediately.
Looks super delicious, thanks for the great idea
I love a salad that doesn’t actually have lettuce. And all the flavors looks perfect, especially the pistachios. I still can’t believe your mom has never tried them, but I like her chocolate-covered style :)
This looks awesome. I’ve never had cucumber salad, but it sounds amazing. Especially with the pears and pistachios! I can’t believe your mom has never had them!!
Oh how I love the sound of this salad! I adore cucumber salads and love this with the pistachios!! And that totally sounds like something my mom would say – I’m teaching her about “new” foods all the time! lol
My kids just discovered how much they love cucumbers! And since we devour pistachios I can see this being huge in our house! Beautiful!!
You are the queen of cucumber salads I guess! I think they make a crown for that! Love how you turned a cucumber salad into something totally fall worthy. Sounds delicious! XO
What a great looking salad recipe! I don’t even bother to paint my nails. They rarely make internet appearances though.
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. :)
Love cucumber anything! This is such a fresh twist on a salad and I love it! I avoid hand shots b/c my nails don’t go a day w/o chipping esp after cooking all day
Haha, oh Karen, the price of fame! Now I’m going to be on the lookout for your chipped nail polish on Pinterest. ;)
EVERYONE in our area seems to make broccoli salad. It’s delicious and I love it, but I am totally going to shake up a church lunch and bring this sometime. Because cucumber > broccoli.
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.
Beaaaatiful salad!! Hope she’s a pistachio lover now, how could you not be?
That is such a cute story! BUT never having pistachios? She hasn’t lived!
Sidenote: I tried candied pistachios over the weekend. And died.
BUT, this salad? While my husband watches football and feasts on 1000 chicken wings, I will be in the corner face planting into it. Pinned!
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. :)
I’m glad your mom finally tried pistachios! They are one of my favorite nuts to add to a salad. :) Thanks for the link love.