Vertical Pear Salad*

I have a little black brother that hates me. Ok wait, that sounds wrong. My Mom has a black miniature Schnauzer, named Oscar, that she says is my brother. It has taken me years to come to terms with her love of her dog and the fact that she considers him my brother. But I have. And Oscar and I have really gotten along for the past few years. Lately when I come over to my parents house he is even nice to me. He wants me to pay attention to him and likes me to rub his paw, but just one, and only when he wants it (seriously, I’m not kidding).

Quick backstory: We got Oscar when I was a freshman in highschool. And he never liked me. Now to be fair, at the time I was not a big dog person…and he knew it. A couple of years after getting him, we went on a family vacation and took the family dog, Oscar. Our family vacations included my extended family as well (grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin/bff). As you would imagine with all those people, we had a packed car. So Oscar was forced to sit in the back with me. Neither of us were happy about it. The ride generally went fine….it really did. No problems, just a nice family car ride. Until we got to the beach house. And I went to help Oscar get out of the car. And he whipped around and bit my ear! Not just a little, he actually drew blood! And the whole time my Mom is saying “Oh he doesn’t like his back touched Jessie! Don’t touch his back!”. Ya…cause that’s why he bit me. ::eyeroll::

Ok now back to the present, my Mom and Dad have abandoned me and my sister taken a quick little mini vacation down to the Keys. And while they are gone they asked me to come stay with my baby sister, Haley. So I got here yesterday and everything went fine. No incidents. Honestly, for the last probably 4 years that I have not lived here Oscar has actually pretended to like me. I had forgotten our old feud and thought we were friends! He would let me pet him and acted like he wanted to be BFF’s. But now, I know that to all be a lie. This morning I woke up at the ungodly time of 6am and took the dogs for a quick walk and then to play fetch in the backyard. Oscar does not play fetch, but my dog, Brody, LOVES to play. So I was playing fetch with Brody…not really paying attention to Oscar…and I eventually realized Oscar was gone. HE NEVER LEAVES. Seriously! He never goes anywhere. He always stays right on the back porch, so there was no reason for me to have to keep my eye on him. So I start calling his name. And calling, and calling, and pissing off the neighbors, and calling. No Oscar. So I go inside and get the baby sister and we start searching. Apparently he took off, crossed the street, and was hiding in a neighbors front yard. In other words, the jerk hates me so much that he waited years for this opportunity to make me look bad in front of my Mom. He figured he would hide until she got home and then come limping out from across the street…to prove what a horrible person I am. But don’t worry, I showed him. He is currently hog tied and shoved in a closet. Think he can make it for another two days without food and water? Guess we will find out.

*This was a joke. Ok not the biting my ear part, or the part where the jerk ran off….or the part about how my Mom calls him my brother. But the part about me hog tying him and shoving him in a closet is what I would really like to do an exaggeration. He is fine, eating breakfast, and giving me the evil eye for ruining his master plan.


As for this Vertical Pear Salad…I choose it for my Fall Dinner Party for Challenge #3 of Project Food Blog because it is impressive looking! But it is actually very easy to do! You can put any salad you wish inside of it, just follow the same steps for the pear!




Vertical Pear Salad


4 smooth skinned pears
2-3 cups watercress
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
vinaigrette dressing
honey for drizzling
lemon juice


Cut pears horizontally into 3 or 4 slices depending on the size of your pears. Use a paring knife to cut out the cores. The pieces should look like O's. Leave the stem on the pop piece. Brush slices of pear with lemon juice to keep it from browning.

Toss watercress, pecans, and blue cheese with dressing until coated.

Reassemble the pear, vertically, with the watercress salad in between each slice. Once assembled, drizzle with honey, and serve!

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66 Responses to “Vertical Pear Salad”

  1. 1

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — October 4, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    Gorrrrgeous!!! As soon as I saw the title of this post in my RSS feed, I knew it was gonna be good!

  2. 2

    Eliana — October 4, 2010 @ 9:06 am

    WOW – this seriously looks like a work of art. I wouldn’t want to eat it if I had it in front of me. I would just want to stare at it.

  3. 3

    Ashlie — October 4, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    This is so so pretty – I’m definetly going to have to be a copy cat! I might wait until comice pears start showing up at the markets – they are my favorite :)

  4. 4

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — October 4, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    Oh my gosh, this is marvelous! What a fun way to welcome the fall season… I bet this tastes even more wonderful than it looks! I had a good laugh over your story about the mini Schnauzer, too. Thanks for sharing, Jess!

  5. 5

    Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox — October 4, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    I’m going to have to steal this!

    Good luck w/ the canine brother. I’ve got a canine and feline sisters who don’t like me or my little dog.

  6. 6

    Sakura — October 4, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    Such a beautiful picture. I feel like I can reach out and take a bite. Beautiful! You should be proud. :)

  7. 7

    Sharlene — October 5, 2010 @ 6:05 am

    Cute story! Possibly not-so-cute dog for running off like that though. I can’t get over how beautiful this pear salad looks. It belongs on the cover of a magazine!

  8. 8

    Lauren — October 5, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    This is such a gorgeous presentation! Definitely restaurant-worthy.

  9. 9

    Monet — October 6, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    What a cute story and what a STUNNING salad. You have my vote on this post alone. You should sell this at a restaurant…or enter it in a salad competition. Just too beautiful! And I’m sure delicious tasting too!

  10. 10

    Anna — October 6, 2010 @ 1:42 am

    That Pear salad looks fantastic. Great picture too. Good luck in this round. You got my vote.

  11. 11

    Curt McAdams — October 6, 2010 @ 5:48 am

    Wow! This looks like a fantastic meal, and I like the pairing of the pumpkin ale instead of another wine. I made up my own menu to keep it simple, but I’m looking around and thinking I may have done my last round! :) Good luck, though I don’t think you’ll need it.

  12. 12

    shelly (cookies and cups) — October 6, 2010 @ 7:11 am

    What a fun salad!! Looks super fancy!

  13. 13

    Kristen — October 6, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I can completely understand the dog thing. My mother in law has Oscar’s brother living with her!! Although he has never drawn blood, he hates me, too. (Of course, I don’t think too much of him either).

    The salad is gorgeous. I love the presentation.

  14. 14

    Isabelle — October 6, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Oh my. How awesome is this salad? I’ve done the pear/pecan/watercress/blue cheese combination in salads on a regular basis, but never in a million years did it occur to me to change it up with an awesome presentation like this. Talk about a show-stopper!
    Good luck with the challenge. You’ve totally got my vote.

  15. 15

    ErinsFoodFiles — October 7, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    I absolutely adore this salad! It has such a gorgeous presentation. It would be PERFECT to serve at a dinner party IN MY NEW HOUSE! (Which I don’t own yet…. But I will soon!)

  16. 16

    Shannon — October 7, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    love the presentation of that salad!!

  17. 17

    delicieux — October 8, 2010 @ 1:14 am

    Wow, this salad looks fantastic and the presentation is to die for!!!

  18. 18

    Anna Johnston — October 8, 2010 @ 3:52 am

    Funny story. Brothers like that are pesky little dibba dobba’s huh. The pear salad on the other hand is awesome, looks a stunner, great stuff :)

  19. 19

    Foodwhirl » Pumpkin Thai Soup (and a whole Fall Dinner Party) — October 9, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    […] While you’re there, check out her very cool Vertical Pear Salad, too! […]

  20. 20

    Paula — October 15, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    This is one of the prettiest presentations for a salad that I’ve ever seen. It is literally mouthwatering!

  21. 21

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  22. 22

    Aimee — October 27, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    This recipe look divine and I can’t wait to try it! I featured it here. YUM and so pretty!

  23. 23

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  24. 24

    Justin Winokur — October 29, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    I read this a while back and my girlfriend and I did something inspired by your post. We did it with spinach and toasted pine nuts. We also skipped the honey and used orange juice instead do lemon juice (we had extra). Finally, we used toothpicks to hold it together (but told the people eating it so they knew the expect a toothpick or two).

    You can read all about it on my cooking notebook/blog at

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  27. 27

    Fanya — August 19, 2011 @ 12:22 am

    This look so classy! Can I substitute goat cheese for blue cheese?

    • Jessica replied: — August 19th, 2011 @ 12:40 am

      Of course!

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  31. 31

    Funkytime — October 4, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    that looks truly awesome!!

  32. 32

    Lenggai@popty-wopty — October 14, 2011 @ 5:05 am

    this is wonderful, extraordinary and looks very refreshing and appetizing! unfortunately, pears are not grown here in our place (Philippines). Nonetheless, will definitely try this. thanks for the recipe! cheers! :-)

  33. 33

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  34. 34

    marla — January 13, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    This is amazing!! Love the sweet savory combo and the vertical thing is something I must try!

  35. 35

    Faith — January 13, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    My jaw literally dropped when I saw the first picture-BEAUTIFUL! Food art. :)

  36. 36

    Yvonne @ StoneGable — March 23, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Great salad. I made one just like it last fall and everyone raved!

  37. 37

    This looks SO GOOD!! « DR. LILL — March 29, 2012 @ 7:52 am

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    Mademoiselle Slimalicious — July 19, 2012 @ 5:41 am

    What a great idea! Very creative way to eat a salad!

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  44. 44

    Emily: — November 12, 2012 @ 1:35 am

    This is the cutest salad I’ve ever seen! I shared this recipe on my latest meal plan, thank you!

  45. 45

    Sharon — December 31, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    I cannot wait until I can volunteer to make the salad at our next dinner party. This is a show stopper.

  46. 46

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  51. 51

    Julia — January 29, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    This is truely amazing! But all I am asking myself at the moment is: how the hell are you going to eat that without making a mess? :)

    And gosh, can I relate to your story. But actually my parents told me Mia (a hairy, crazy terrier dog) is not sister, rtaher she’s there to replace me after I left home. And that’s what she does. She took over my FAVORITE armchair which I have been watching TV in for about the first 18 years of my life …

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  58. 58

    Valda Jean Combs — September 6, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

    I love the presentation but this salad is getting the Mason jar treatment so I can take it for lunch! Thank you.

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  63. 63

    cheree vega — July 24, 2015 @ 6:56 pm

    so beautiful. it’s a must!

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