If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Southern pear salad, you may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t traditionally involve any salad at all. The original recipe is only four ingredients: canned pear halves, mayonnaise, shredded cheddar cheese and maraschino cherries.
While a Southern classic, this combination may not be for everyone -- with only four ingredients, it’s not much of a recipe. So why not take inspiration from these flavors and create a salad that’s sweet and tart, slightly peppery but with a backbone of creaminess, all focused around a delicious, juicy pear? This recipe uses fresh pears instead of canned, goat cheese takes the place of the mayo and cheddar, and dried sour cherries replace the maraschinos. Plus, there’s a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. The result is just as iconic as its inspiration, and a whole lot more impressive.