First, make the maple dressing: Whisk together all ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.
Next, make the wild rice, because it needs to cool slightly before assembling the salad.
In a 2-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water to a boil.
Add the butter, salt, and wild rice blend to the pot. Place the lid on the pan.
Lower the heat to medium, and set the timer for 16 minutes. Please note that some wild rice blends might have longer cooking times, so check your box for directions. My grains were perfectly tender in just 16 minutes.
Once the rice is done cooking, move it to a serving dish and toss it every 10 minutes to help it cool. It doesn’t need to be totally cool before assembling the salad, but closer to room temperature.
To serve the salad, crumble the blue cheese with a fork into bite-size pieces, and toss it with the rice.
Add the cranberries and walnut pieces, and toss again.
Finally, slice the pears into 16-18 slices, and serve them on top of the salad, fanned out for presentation.
Store leftover salad in an airtight container. This recipe easily doubles to serve more.