This Pear Salad with Vanilla Fig Dressing, Gorgonzola Cheese and Pecans is a delicious celebration of fall and the perfect side for festive gatherings, special dinners or the holiday table! Video Included.
You are looking at one of my favorite fall salads! This Pear Salad Recipe is bursting with flavor! Juicy ripe pears, spicy nutty arugula, spiced maple-glazed seeds and pecans, pomegranate seeds, dried currants and gorgonzola cheese are all tossed in a flavorful Vanilla Fig Dressing to create the most delicious balance of flavors.
This time of year pears are such a refreshing treat. We especially love them in salads and this Pear Salad is one of our fall favorites- it’s flavorful, colorful, and elegant and the Vanilla Fig Dressing is sublime.
Wait until your pears are perfectly juicy and ripe and if you can get locally grown pears, even better!
Pear Salad Recipe | 60-Sec Video
Why this pear salad works:
- The flavors and textures of this salad are so complimentary! Sweet juicy pears paired with peppery arugula, creamy gorgonzola, maple glazed spiced nuts, bright pomegranate seeds, and Vanilla Fig Dressing. So very perfect!
- This salad can be made ahead! Assemble it ahead, refrigerate, then add the dressing and toss it right before serving.
- It’s beautiful! Perfect for fall gatherings.
Pear Salad Ingredients
- Pears– perfectly ripe, red pears offer the best color here, but any flavorful ripe pear will work.
- Arugula– we really love its peppery bite, but feel free to sub spinach or half spinach.
- Spiced Nuts- pumpkin seeds and pecans are glazed with maple and spices
- Pomegranate Seeds– add a bright tanginess and pop of color and flavor
- Red onion
- Gorgonzola Cheese
- Dried Currants – or sub dried cranberries, or cherries
- Vanilla Fig Dressing
How to make the Pear Salad
Make the Vanilla Fig Dressing, by whisking ingredients together in a bowl.
Gather remaining ingredients for the salad, and slice the pears.
Then begin assembling the salad and toss with the Vanilla Fig dressing- just enough to lightly coat.
Feel free to top the salad with more spiced nuts, gorgonzola crumbles and pomegranate seeds.
More recipes you may like:
- Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
- Radicchio Salad with Asian Pear & Walnuts
- Toasted Farro with Pear, Hazelnuts and Arugula
- Pear Tree Cocktail
- Fig and Arugula Salad, w/ Goat Cheese & Pecans
- Vanilla Fig Dressing
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall season.
- 1 cup mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pecans (feel free to just use 1 or 2 kinds, but a mix is nice)
- 2–3 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Vanilla Fig Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fig jam
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 ripe pears- not overly ripe, sliced
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup dried currants (or sub craisins or dried cherries)
Preheat oven to 350F ( A toaster oven works here too)
Make the spiced Nuts: In a small bowl, toss the nuts/seeds with the maple syrup, enough to coat well, and mix in the salt and spices. Spread out on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want to get them toasted and golden. Remove from heat, and immediately “fluff” with a fork. Let them cool completely. You can do this ahead- taking care not to eat them all before making the salad. You’ll need at least 1/2 cup for the salad.
Make the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl
Make the salad: In a large bowl (not your serving bowl) toss arugula, red onion, 1/2 cup spiced nuts, pomegranate seeds, currants and gorgonzola cheese lightly with the dressing until perfectly coated. Taste, season with salt and pepper if you like.
Then add the pears, carefully tossing so they don’t break.
Place the salad in the serving bowl and garnish with more spiced nuts, gorgonzola and pomegranate if you like.
If making ahead, get all the components ready beforehand, and toss right before serving.
You may only need 1/2 the nuts for the salad.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 273
- Sugar: 23.7 g
- Sodium: 326.2 mg
- Fat: 14.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.8 g
- Fiber: 5.6 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 5.5 mg
Keywords: pear salad recipe, pear arugula salad, pear gorgonzola salad, fall pear salad, fig dressing