A fall-inspired Pear Walnut Salad featuring peppery arugula, sweet juicy pears, crunchy candied walnuts and a simple maple cinnamon dressing to bring it all together.
This Pear Walnut Salad with Maple Cinnamon Dressing is just full of beautiful fall flavours and colours. We're talking a combination of peppery arugula, sweet juicy pears, crunchy candied walnuts and a simple maple cinnamon dressing.
The red skins of the pears look so pretty against the deep green arugula and the pear juices seep into the dressing once the salad is mixed adding even more flavour. It's just a dream to eat.
How to make Pear Walnut Salad
This Pear Walnut Salad comes together very quickly and easily. The only cooking involved is making the candied walnuts. Here's how it's done in 4 simple steps:
- Toss the walnuts with the maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and bake for 5 minutes.
- Mix or shake up the dressing ingredients.
- Core and slice the pears.
- Put the arugula in a bowl, add the pears and walnuts and toss through the dressing.
- Red pears look best but green work well too.
- Make sure the pears you use are really ripe
- Dress just before serving to keep the greens fresh and vibrant and the nuts crunchy
- If made in advance store the nuts in an airtight container so they stay nice and crunchy.
What goes with Walnut Pear Salad?
Eat this Pear Walnut Salad as a side with your evening meal or with some soup for lunch. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch or dinner and it's perfect served up as a side or appetizer on your holiday table.
- Not got pears? Use red apples instead
- Spinach or romaine lettuce works well in place of the arugula
- Add some vegan feta cheese crumbles for a tasty, creamy, salty hit
- Add some chewy dried fruit for more texture. Cherries, cranberries and dates work well
- Use pecans instead of walnuts
- Add some avocado
- Add some pomegranate arils for an extra burst of flavour and colour
- If you don't have time to candy the walnuts in the oven just toast them gently in a pan on the stovetop instead
- Omit the oil to make it oil-free
Tips for making ahead
Fresh pears don't keep well once cut so it's best to make this salad just before you want to enjoy it. However, you can make the dressing up to a week ahead and store it in the refrigerator and candy the walnuts and store them in an airtight container. They will keep for a few weeks.
Yes. The skin is full of fibre which is really good for you. Also if using red pears, the skin adds a lovely colour contrast in this salad.
It's natural for salad dressing with oil in it to separate. Oil repels other liquids and unless they are emulsified separation will naturally occur. Just give the dressing a good shake or whisk before pouring over the salad.
Hungry For More?
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Pear Walnut Salad with Maple Cinnamon DressingAuthor:
For the candied walnuts
For the salad
- 8 big handfuls arugula , (rocket in the UK)
- 2 large red pears (use green if you can't find red- red apples would make a good sub too)
For the candied walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175 °C)
- Mix walnuts with maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Spread out on a lined baking tray and bake for 7 to 8 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the dressing
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small jar. Put the lid on and shake well.
For the salad
- Wash the pears gently and half them lengthways. Remove the cores with a teaspoon then cut each half into long thin slices.
- Add the arugula and sliced pear to a large salad bowl
- Sprinkle over the cooled walnuts.
- Drizzle generously with the dressing just before serving
This recipe was originally published on September 16th 2016. I've tweaked the post a bit and now I am republishing it for you. The actual recipe remains the same. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for following A Virtual Vegan!