Plant-based, Salads

Pear and arugula salad

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Add seasonal freshness to your table with this festive pear and arugula salad. It features candied pumpkin spice pecans, dried cherries, sun flower seeds and a white wine vinaigrette. This plant based recipe is both healthy and packed full of flavor.

A large pear and arugula salad with white wine vinaigrette.

Pears are surprisingly high in vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of fibre and folate. If you are vegetarian and like adding cheese to your salads, I recommend adding either a soft Chevre goat’s cheese or gorgonzola. Both types of cheese compliment the sweetness of the pears and the peppery leaves of the arugula.

Dried cherries are a Northwest favorite. Both sweet and sour Northwest summer cherries are dried, packaged and available through several producers. They are great additions to salads and any snack mix. You can buy 365 Everyday Value sweetened sour cherries at local Northwest grocery stores, Chukar cherries online direct or tart dried cherries at Costco. If you can’t find dried cherries, you can substitute this ingredient with Craisins (sweetened dried cranberries).

A bowl of pear and arugula salad, a jar of white wine vinaigrette and whole ripe pears.
Pear and arugula salad is a great choice for fall

The festive pumpkin spice candied pecans are a delicious addition to this salad. Candied pecans add texture and a hint of spice and sweetness to any salad. You can buy candied pecans, but they are surprisingly easy and quick to make. To make the candied pecans you’ll need:

  • vegan butter or regular butter (your choice)
  • brown sugar
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • pecans

White wine vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for this salad. It is light, healthy and brings all the fall flavors in this salad together with just the right acidity. Make sure you use “white wine vinegar” and not plain white vinegar which is more acidic. The label will specifically say “white wine vinegar.” When you make your own salad dressings you will almost always find your salad bursts with more flavor. Homemade dressings are very easy to make and contain no preservatives. Simply store any left over dressing in a jar in the fridge for several days. Allow it to come to room temperature and shake it up when you are ready to use it again. To make the white wine vinaigrette, you’ll need:

  • a good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • dried thyme
  • Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and ground pepper
A bowl of ripe rosy organic Washington pears.
Organic Washington pears

There are many varieties of pears. Any variety will work well in this recipe. I recommend choosing a locally sourced organic pear if possible. Did you know that orchards in Leavenworth, Washington are the nations #1 growers of organic pears? Pears really benefit from dry warm summers and cold, crisp shoulder seasons of Eastern Washington.

A big bowl of pear and arugula salad.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious pear and arugula salad. It is the perfect compliment to a festive fall meal.

Leave me a comment below if you make this salad.

Happy cooking,

Michelle

Pear and arugula salad

Recipe by MichelleCourse: Plant-based, SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

Pear and arugula salad features candied pumpkin spice pecans, dried cherries, sun flower seeds and a white wine vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • For the salad
  • 5 oz baby arugula

  • 2 pears, cored and sliced

  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin spice candied pecans, below

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinaigrette, below

  • Pumpkin spice candied pecans
  • 2 tsp vegan butter or butter

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 cup pecans

  • White wine vinaigrette
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard

  • pinch sea salt and ground pepper

Directions

  • Pumpkin spice candied pecans
  • On medium-high heat, melt 2 tsp vegan butter (or regular butter if you choose) in a non-stick skillet. Add, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Stir melting the sugar. Add 1 cup of pecans. Coat the pecans with the sugar mixture and cook for a couple minutes. Cool the pecans on a parchment paper lined plate.
  • White wine vinaigrette
  • Combine 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard, generous pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. Whisk all ingredients together. Store in a jar. Shake to re-emulsify.
  • For the salad
  • In a large salad bowl, combine and toss the arugula, sliced pears, sunflower seeds, dried cherries and candied pecans in the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Notes

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  • If you are vegetarian and like adding cheese to your salads, I recommend adding either a soft Chevre goat’s cheese or gorgonzola. Both types of cheese compliment the sweetness of the pears and the peppery leaves of the arugula.
 

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