Fall Pear and Gorgonzola Sandwich

Story, recipe, and photos by Alexander Christiano



This sandwich is a great way to celebrate the abundance of fall fruit. I elected pears for this version, but apples and other pomes would serve as a seasonally appropriate substitute.

Some neighborhoods in the East Bay have pear trees that produce an incredible yield—sometimes too many for the property owners to reasonably eat and use up—so don’t hesitate to ask if you can pick some. You might also find feral groves on undeveloped property, and that fruit could be fair game, too, but look carefully for signs saying “no trespassing” before you pick. If there’s more than you can use, find a food bank to donate to.

Pick out your favorite pear types and make sure that they are ripe enough to provide some sweetness to the sandwich but not overly mushy and soft. I surveyed Berkeley Bowl for their current varieties and chose Concorde and Bartlett.

The other star of this sandwich is Gorgonzola, a cheese of Italian origin that provides a delicious creaminess alongside the characteristic bleu cheese sharpness. Pick out a younger and more creamy variety and avoid the  mature and crumbly options, which won’t work as well for this sandwich (but do work well on pizza and in salads). Another great option would be Cambozola, a highly spreadable cheese that is a cross between Brie and Gorgonzola.

Use any baby greens you like (or omit them if you prefer). I really like the bitterness that arugula provides as a contrast to the sweet pears and fig jam.

Lastly, make sure to pick out a high-quality loaf of rustic bread large enough that it provides enough surface area to make a decent size sandwich and sturdy enough to hold everything together. I went with Acme’s pain au levain, a whole loaf with a wonderfully smoky, dark, and chewy crust and soft interior.

The last additions are toasted nuts and jam, which are more accessory than essential here. I went with walnuts and a fig jam for a familiar combination, but please use whatever interests your palate.





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A Fall Pear and Gorgonzola Sandwich

  • Author: Recipe and photos by Alexander Christiano


Units Scale
  • 2 thick slices rustic bread
  • 1 large handful baby arugula (or baby greens of choice)
  • A drizzle of honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted, crushed walnuts
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced lengthwise
  • 35 ounces Gorgonzola (choose a younger version)
  • 1 tablespoon fig jam


I like to toast the bread in a medium-hot skillet with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, but a toaster works fine as well. Toast the bread on one side in the skillet and then turn off the heat and remove the bread. Toss in the baby greens to wilt them with the pan’s residual heat; a minute is plenty to reduce these down to a more manageable volume.

Next, smear the Gorgonzola (as much of it as you’d like) onto the un-toasted side of the bread. Drizzle the cheese with honey (to taste). I like to press the crushed walnuts into the cheese at this point to ensure that they wouldn’t fall out of the sandwich.

Lay the pear slices evenly on top of the Gorgonzola. Don’t be afraid to stack them up; you want a lot of pear slices to counter the funky intensity of the Gorgonzola. Next, adorn the sandwich with wilted arugula, which will add a nice bitter and peppery contrast to the sweet and savory elements.

Place the second bread slice on top and slice the sandwich in half. Serve with fig jam in a ramekin on the side. (It would totally be appropriate to skip the honey and just slather the jam on top of the Gorgonzola layer.)


Writer Alexander Christiano is a UC Berkeley interdisciplinary studies student who developed a culinary passion by cooking for friends and family. He writes on dining, travel, and meditation for the Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s premier student-run newspaper. Additionally, his study of Indian philosophy has been featured in Oxford University’s Broad Street Humanities Review, a student-run publication for interdisciplinary undergraduate scholarship. His interest in meditation echos into his food writing as an emphasis on the well-being of animals and the environment through recipes that nourish the body and mind.