This twist on a classic Italian tricolore salad features a sherry vinaigrette enhanced with crumbled blue cheese. You could use any good-quality well-aged blue cheese, but my favorite is Grey Barn’s Bluebird (especially the reserve), so I named this salad for it.

Susie Middleton

Inspired by a nice head of escarole I found, I expanded the usual three colors in a tricolore salad – white (endive), red (radicchio), and green (arugula) – to four by adding the pale lime escarole. I also switched up the arugula to mizuna since Morning Glory Farm has had their own mizuna for sale this winter. But either would work.

I usually finish the salad simply with chopped roasted walnuts. But I made a variation with two other additions I found at the market recently – Asian pears and Island-grown micro greens. You could add crispy ham or salami and call this dinner. Or you could also vary the cheese here by replacing the blue cheese with coarsely ground Parmigiano or crumbled feta.

Makes 4 small portions or 2 large portions (easily doubled for a crowd)

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Big pinch kosher salt
  • 2 to 2 ½ tablespoons crumbled Bluebird or other good-quality blue cheese


For the salad:

  • 2 cups chopped or torn escarole
  • 2 cups lightly packed (or 1 ½ cups packed) mizuna or arugula
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed torn inner leaves of radicchio
  • 1 cup sliced endive (about 2/3 large endive or 1 ½ small)
  • ½ unpeeled Asian pear, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped toasted walnuts


1. To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, sherry vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, and a big pinch of salt in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the blue cheese and mash with the back of a fork to crush some of cheese. Whisk again.

2. To make the salad, combine the escarole, mizuna or arugula, radicchio and endive in a medium bowl. Toss together lightly. Add the sliced Asian pear if using and toss again. Sprinkle with a big pinch of flaky sea salt. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing and toss gently. Taste and add a little more dressing if desired.

3. Transfer the salad to a shallow serving bowl or mound servings on shallow bowls or plates. Garnish with the chopped walnuts.

Bluebird cheese from the Grey Barn and Farm.
Susie Middleton