Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is one of my favorite salads, and it is so easy to make, and is a variation of my salad recipe with blue cheese.  I like to make this when we have company because it is quick it is to prepare, and topping are a great way to dress up a salad (plus, you can leave off the toppings if you know someone prefers not to have them on).  I make this often for get togethers and get a lot of compliments.

Ingredients needed:

  • balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper (for homemade balsamic) – or I buy Newman’s Own Balsamic
  • gorgonzola cheese
  • chopped walnuts (I buy them pre-chopped, or you can easily chop them on your own)

How to make the Balsamic Vinaigrette:

The general rule for making a balsamic vinaigrette is 1 part balsamic to 3 parts oil.

I use a nice balsamic and extra virgin olive oil – I love the rich flavors!

Once you have your ratio of vinegar and oil, sprinkle in salt and some pepper.  How much you make really depends on how big of a salad you are preparing – often I am making just enough for myself.

Whisk or shake your mixture.  It will stay together for a little while and separate out over time.  Also check to make sure you added enough salt – I have made the mistake of not adding enough salt and it was a little bland.

If I make this for our family at home, I sometimes just make this in a glass mixing cup and whisk with a fork (or mini whisk).  Other times when we are serving guests, I use a mason jar and shake it up.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Creating the salad:

For this salad, I usually use a spring mix, romaine or butter lettuce.

I generally wait to add the dressing until the salad is ready to be served, so that it stays fresh and not soggy.

Toss the dressing with the salad, then top with chopped walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese.  If you toss the salad with the toppings, the toppings tend to end up at the bottom, so I leave the cheese and walnuts on top, even if just for presentation.

Gorgonzola Salad

I also sometimes make this like a ‘salad station’, so that if we are serving kids, they can make their own salad.  My kids are not a fan of Gorgonzola, so I give them the option of leaving it off, or at least switch it with something else (like shredded mozzarella).