When we think of Fall, usually Pumpkin is the first thing to come to mind. Pears also happen to be synonymous with that time of year. This Pear and Parmesan Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing is a lovely combination of flavors that you are sure to love, and it makes a wonderful addition to your Fall season menus, or any other time of year!
Pear and Parmesan
When thinking of pears, most of the time our thoughts turn to a dessert rather than something more savory.
The combination of pears and parmesan cheese might seem strange, but I promise it is terrific! The sweet pear and the salty Parmesan play so well off each other.
I love salads and I always love to try different things, and this pear and parmesan salad is a nice departure from the normal.
These ingredients are something you might expect on a cheese platter, but they are great as a salad too.
Why You Will Love Pear and Parmesan Salad
I really love the slight bitterness of the baby arugula and the sweetness of the pear, with the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. Pecans provide crunch, and they are so nice with the other elements of the salad.
This is a really nice salad to serve with your Thanksgiving meal as a lighter side dish to offset the heavier dishes usually served!
Maple Dijon Dressing
You are going to love this maple Dijon dressing recipe! It’s light and flavorful, and the perfect addition to so many different salads. This dressing is full of flavor and easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find.
Ingredients Needed For The Pear and Parmesan Salad
- Shaved Parmesan
- Bosc Pears
Ingredients For Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- Neutral flavored oil such as sunflower or avocado
- Whole Grain Mustard
- Maple Syrup
- White Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
Be sure to use real maple syrup (not the artificial stuff), and whole grain dijon mustard. There really is no substitute! The maple flavor just won’t be the same if you use the fake stuff, and regular dijon mustard won’t provide the same smoky notes that you get from the whole grain mustard.
Bosc pears are brown as opposed to being green or red, that is how you can tell you have the right variety when shopping for them. I find that this particular variety is the best for this salad.
When buying your Arugula, make sure it is not browning and that the leaves are a nice green color.
If your local market sells it, you can buy Parmesan already shaved. Or, you can buy Parmesan in blocks or wedges using a cheese grater that has multiple sides with a side that will shave the cheese and you can do this yourself.
Use the best quality parmesan in this salad that you can find (and you can afford to buy). Cheap parmesan will really shine here in a way you don’t want.
Whole roasted unsalted pecans are best for this salad. If you can’t find roasted pecans, you should toast them before adding them to the salad. I have instructions for this in the recipe card.
How To Make Pear and Parmesan Salad
This is an easy salad to prepare!
- Slice the pears.
- Shave the Parmesan (if you have not bought it already shaved).
- Toast the pecans (if you don’t have pecans that are already roasted).
- Make the Maple Dijon Vinaigrette.
- Combine the salad ingredients with the prepared dressing and serve.
You only need a few things to make this delicious salad!
- Large bowl for serving
- Cheese grater for shaving the Parmesan
- Non stick skillet for toasting the pecans (if yours are not roasted)
- Salad tongs for serving
- Knife for slicing the pears
- Immersion blender or standard blender for making the vinaigrette
How To Make Maple Dijon Dressing
This is about as easy as it gets. Just put your ingredients in a large cup to use an immersion blender or put them in a standard blender.
If you love this dressing and want to make a larger batch for other salads, it will last about two weeks in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can substitute honey, but the dressing will have a slightly different flavor.
Yes! You can try another variety of greens such as spring mix or baby kale. If you want to add a little kick to this salad, try using my Spicy Candied Pecans instead of the roasted unsalted pecans. They really add a nice boost of flavor!
Ways To Use This Vinaigrette Dressing
This vinaigrette has such a great flavor that works on so many salads. It is lovely on my Fried Goat Cheese Salad instead of the citrus vinaigrette that is part of the recipe. I have used this dressing on that salad many times and it is wonderful!
I also love it drizzled on my roasted carrots with carrot top pesto. Yes, I even use this maple dijon dressing in addition to the pesto on the carrots! It really is great. It’s also a nice addition to any other roasted vegetables. Also, try it on pork chops!
What To Serve With Pear And Parmesan Salad
As stated above, this is a really nice salad to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, although you don’t have to serve this only once a year.
Pear and Parmesan Salad is also a nice side to serve with Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto!
If you are reading this, thank you for visiting The Copper Table. I certainly hope you love this Pear and Parmesan Salad! If you tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Just leave a rating or comment below.
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This Pear and Parmesan salad is sweet, salty, and delicious! The Maple Dijon Dressing is a wonderful addition too. If you're looking for something a little different, you will love this salad!
For the Salad
- 4 cups baby Arugula
- 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 large Bosc Pear
- 2/3 cup whole Pecans
For the Maple Dijon Dressing
- 1/4 cup Avocado oil
- 2 tbsp White Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- 2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- Place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a deep sided cup, and use an immersion blender to mix.
- Slice the pear and shave the parmesan, and place them in a large bowl with the arugula and pecans.
- To slice the pear, remove the stem and cut in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half into wedges about a half inch thick. Remove the seeds and any bits of the core of the pear.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss to coat and serve.
- White wine vinegar may be substituted for the white balsamic vinegar. If you need to use a vinegar other than white balsamic, be sure to use something mild that will not overpower the other flavors (apple cider vinegar is a good example of something too strong).
- Other slightly bitter greens such as frisee would be a good substitute for the arugula. Spring Mix is also nice in this salad.
- This dressing is great on other salads as well, and the recipe is easily doubled. Don't substitute regular Dijon mustard for the whole grain Dijon, the dressing will not have the same flavor.
- You can try using spicy candied pecans to punch up this salad a little bit, they are really good!
- I recommend eating this salad right away, because the pear will start to brown once it is cut and not look as appealing.
- If you want to make any of the components of this recipe in advance, the dressing can be made ahead and stored in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator until you make the salad. The parmesan may also be shaved in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container with a lid. If you plan to use the spicy candied pecans for this salad, they may be made up to a week in advance.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.