Salad for a Change–
I have been trying to incorporate some lighter and healthier fare into my eating regimen, which can be harder than it seems at times. When that happens, I have to do something to make eating healthy at least a little fun. I decided it was time to jazz up my salad routine. I really like salad, but it’s easy to get into a rut and make the same one over and over again. They don’t have to be boring! Pears are one of my favorite fruits, and I love pecans but usually I end up eating them in a dessert. Parmesan is one of my go to cheeses. Then I thought, why not make a salad with all of them? That’s how this Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Pear, and Pecans came about.
A Salad with Fruit and Cheese
There really is a lot to love about salads in general! They are healthy if you are using the right ingredients, quick to make, and they can act both as a meal and a side dish. The flavor combination of this salad is nothing less than magical, and it was just what I needed to get me out of a boring salad routine!
The slight bitterness of the baby arugula and the sweetness of the pear are great together along with the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. I know the pears with the parmesan might seem strange, but it works! Pecans provide crunch, and they play nicely with the other ingredients. The maple vinaigrette is sweet yet smoky. This dressing is fantastic! It would be great over roasted vegetables or on other salads also and I have a feeling I will be using it with many others than just this one.
This makes a great lunch all by itself, or it could be paired with soup or a sandwich. I also think it would be lovely as a side on a Thanksgiving table (although this is a great salad year round as long as you can find Bosc pears), providing something lighter to balance out all those heavy dishes.
- It’s best to use an immersion blender to make the dressing due to the mustard seeds in the whole grain dijon mustard. If you don’t have one, you can try using a traditional blender, or substitute regular dijon for the whole grain.
- I used unsalted roasted pecans, but if you have candied pecans I think they would be great here.
- Use the best quality parmesan in this salad that you can find. Cheap parmesan will really shine here in a way you don’t want.
- This recipe is easy to make in a larger quantity for entertaining.
- If you are unable to find white balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar can be substituted, but the flavor will be a little different.
- If you can’t find arugula, frisee or any other slightly bitter greens would be nice as well.
- I recommend Bosc Pears for this salad for their flavor.
As someone who has eaten salads for years, I like to add to my repertoire whenever I can. The first time I ate this, I was so happy to find that this worked so well. I’ll be eating this Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Pear, and Pecans over and over again. I hope you enjoy it too! Happy Cooking!
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 Vinaigarette
- 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.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss to coat and serve.
- White wine vinegar may be substituted for the white balsamic vinegar.
- Other slightly bitter greens such as frisee would be a good substitute for the arugula.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g