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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
Toss nuts and seeds with maple syrup, spices and salt and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
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.
Pear Gorgonzola Salad with Fig Dressing
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: salads, fall recipes
- Method: Tossed
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This Pear Salad is the perfect side for a fall gathering or the holiday table. Juicy ripe pears, arugula, spiced nuts, pomegranate seeds, dried currants and gorgonzola are all tossed in a flavorful Vanilla Fig Dressing to create the most delicious balance of flavors.
- 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
I want to clarify my question from earlier today. I was looking for a protein idea that could go IN the salad. Not a separate menu item. Thanks! 😊
How about cannellini beans or navy beans? Neutral seasoned lentils would work too I think.
Love this recipe, but would also love your advice. I’d like to make this as an entree salad for my vegetarian son. Suggestions for a protein addition that would pair well with the flavors of he salad? I would only use 1 pear and, notably, I always cut the amount of fig jam to 1 T. to cut the sweetness a bit.
Delicious! The fig vanilla dressing and spiced nuts makes this salad seem like a party in my mouth, such a simple yet decadent dish!
Yay Ruth! Thanks and gald you liked!
This salad was delish. I was worried about it being too sweet but the peppery arugula balanced out the sweetness nicely. I used the lesser amount of the jam. It was a hit on Christmas.
Great to hear Debbie!
I made a large bowl of this salad thinking it would last a couple of meals. The combination of flavors was so good that I ate the entire bowl for dinner. Well worth toasting the nuts and making the dressing.
So happy you liked this Lynn!
No Pin button? And no 60 second video.
Hi Marian! Pin buttons are placed on the individual photo at the top right corner. As far as video not playing…I wonder if your ad blocker could be on? Perhaps try a different browser?
This salad was absolutely amazing. I’ve never made a salad like this. Definitely will be a regular fall/winter salad. Thank you.
Exceptional salad! The Fig vanilla dressing is Devine and I received a compliment from a chef. The chef was fascinated and wanted the recipe. This salad was a hit at my brunch gathering, it was gone faster then you can say “Merry Christmas”.
Ha! Love it Kerstin!
I absolutely LOVE this salad!!! I made it for my husband and I for thanksgiving dinner. I had a lot of pomegranates on the counter and seeds and nuts and thought I would try it! I love arugula so was excited to put these flavors together. I left out the Gorgonzola because my hubs doesn’t like it but I bet it would have been amazing with these flavors. The dressing with the spiced nuts and seeds and fruit make this arugula salad spectacular! I’ll be making this one consistently when I have pomegranates. It’s so good!!!
I’m so happy you enjoyed this!
So, so delicious. You aced it again!
🥰 Awww, thanks Alex!
I made the pear salad with vanilla fig dressing for a friend who is a gourmet cook and she loved it. Made one for our simple taste and doubt about stinky Gorgonzola , and we loved it too! Simple but elegant . Thank you!
Glad to hear you enjoyed this!
This was a very good salad. I made it for a dinner party and everyone enjoyed it.
Made this last night. Roasted the nuts/seeds the day before (yes, hard not to eat them right then and there!) Doubled the dressing (I wanted left-over) and arugula, half a pear for each of us was plenty. How do you select a pomegranate?
Mine was good, not great, and rather pale – not red like yours. Forgot to add currants but didn’t miss them at all. Delicious! Thanks for another keeper!
Glad you enjoyed Leslie. Most of the time I pick up pre-seeded pomegranate seeds- yes, cheating a bit! But if selecting a whole one, I usually focus on weight- choosing heavier ones.
Nothing wrong with a sensible time-saver! Thanks, will check that out next time. (Getting to the seeds took me a minute, I must admit).
Yes, so much faster!
So good! Thank you!