Arugula Pear Salad with Toasted PecansJump to Recipe
It can be hard to come up with salads in the winter months. Summer produce is obviously not at its best, but fruits like pears are perfect this time of year. Making a quick arugula pear salad is one of my favorite side dishes.
You can get creative with the other toppings on this salad, and I’ll give you some ideas below, but I like to use goat cheese for a creamy element and toasted pecans for some nice crunch!
This is a really good winter salad. Not too heavy and the pears really lightened up the dish. The arugula in this salad is tossed in a quick and easy shallot dressing. While some pear salads use a vinaigrette, I actually like this creamy shallot yogurt dressing.
Table of contents
How to make the yogurt salad dressing
This is a basic creamy yogurt dressing.
Start the dressing by mincing one shallot into a small bowl. Make sure your shallot is chopped as fine as you can get it. Also the more uniform the better. Peel off the skin from the shallot and slice it horizontally and vertically a few times. Leave one edge of the shallot whole. This will keep your sections together.
Then you just dice it up really fine.
Whisk this in with all of your other dressing ingredients like dijon mustard, salt, and lemon juice and you are all set. While I just add a pinch of sugar for some sweetness, you could use honey for a more natural sweetener. This dressing is better the longer you let it sit. You can make it a day or two in advance with no worries.
Depending on how thick you like your dressing, you might want to add a tablespoon or two of water just to thin it out slightly. It’s personal preference though.
What type of arugula works in this salad?
I prefer to use baby arugula for my salads over the full-grown arugula, which can be a bit bitter in salads. You could also use other greens like baby spinach or a mixed greens situation.
The baby arugula is nice though since it has a peppery bite to it that goes well with the pears and goat cheese.
Optionally, toss your greens in a bit of the dressing. Be careful not to add too much dressing. Start with a small amount.
You can also serve the dressing on the side and allow people to drizzle over their salads.
Preparing the Pears
Pears are in prime season in the winter and you can use a wide range of pears for this salad. I would look for pears that are slightly firm, but give a bit if you press on them. You don’t want one that is very mushy or one that is rock-hard. I used bartlett pears for my version but any pear will work.
Peel the pears and then cut them into quarters. Remove the inner core of the pear and slice the pears into thin slices. They are ready for the arugula salad now!
Finishing the salad
When you have the dressing done and the pears sliced, you can toast your pecans quickly in a dry skillet over low heat until they are fragrant. Add your pecans on top of the salad!
You can either make this salad in a huge salad bowl or on individual plates, depending on your plan for dinner.
Then add your sliced pear and a few dollops of goat cheese.
What’s nice about this is that you can make the dressing the day before and the arugula pear salad a few hours before and then you have zero work to do on this course when it is time for it.
Alternatives to this salad
Here are a few fun options for changing up this arugula pear salad.
- Change up the nuts. You could use walnuts or pistachios!
- If you can’t find pears that look good, you can use apples as a substitute.
- Add pomegranates on top for a seasonal punch of flavor and color.
- Change out the goat cheese for blue cheese or feta if you prefer one of those.
My Arugula Pear Salad recipe
A simple and seasonal arugula pear salad with a creamy yogurt dressing. Toasted pecans and goat cheese add great flavor to the salad!
Quick Shallot dressing:
1) For the dressing, mince shallot very finely and whisk together with other dressing ingredients. Feel free to add a bit more lemon juice to thin the dressing a bit if you want.
2) Toss greens with a few tablespoons of arugula. Try not to add too much dressing to the greens. They should be lightly coated.
3) Toast pecans in a 400 degree F. oven for a few minutes until fragrant or in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until toasted.
4) Divide greens between bowls and top with sliced pears, pecans, and goat cheese. serve extra dressing on the side.
Here are a few other recipes to try!
Hello! My name is Nick Evans and I write and manage Macheesmo. I started Macheesmo 11 years ago when I was just learning my way around the kitchen. I love to cook and love everything food-related, but I have no formal training. These days I focus on fast, accessible recipes with the occasional “reach” recipe!
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