Salad/ Thanksgiving

Pear walnut salad with cranberries and goat cheese

12 January 2021 By Aleksandra

This pear walnut salat is a fresh and vibrant salad, with sweet and sour flavors and different textures. Sweet pear and cranberries, crunchy walnuts, delicate lettuce, and flavorful goat cheese are drizzled with simple lemon dijon vinaigrette.

Lemon dijon vinaigrette is being poured over a pear walnut salad with cranberries and goat cheese.

Ingredients:

I like this salad best just as written but it’s pretty customizable and can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some substitutions that would work well:

  • Instead of pear, use sweet and crunchy apples.
  • Instead of lamb’s lettuce (sometimes also called mâche), you can use leaf lettuce, escarole, baby arugula, little gem lettuce, or any other mixed salad greens. Tender, not crunchy lettuce types are preferred.
  • Instead of toasted walnuts, you can use candied walnuts for extra sweetness (walnuts coated in sugar or honey). Pecans or hazelnuts would be a good substitute for walnuts.
  • Instead of dried cranberries, use dried cherries or pomegranate seeds.
  • Instead of lemon dijon vinaigrette, use balsamic vinaigrette (made with dark balsamic vinegar).
  • Instead of goat cheese, you can use any type of blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or shaved parmesan/pecorino cheese.
  • What kind of goat cheese is best – I used mild, semi-firm goat cheese. Goat camembert would also be good. If you use goat camembert (soft goat cheese), I would recommend making cheese toasts like in this apple celery salad.
  • You could also add thinly sliced fennel or avocado.
Labeled ingredients needed to prepare pear walnut salad.

What kind of pears are best for this salad:

Any type of pear will work. Make sure they are ripe but not too ripe (will be mushy) or unripe (will be too sour and hard).

How to know if a pear is ripe: apply gentle pressure to the neck, or stem end of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, then it’s ripe and ready to eat. If your pear is not ripe yet, leave it at room temperature to ripen, preferably in a bag with a ripe banana or apple (it will ripen quicker).

How to make it step by step:

Vinaigrette sauce in a jar. Lamb's lettuce on a white plate.

STEP 1: Make the dressing: add all the ingredients into a small jar, close the lid and shake until well combined. You can also whiz all ingredients in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper, adjust to your taste by adding more lemon juice, mustard, or honey.

STEP 2: Wash the lettuce and spin it dry. Put on a large plate.

Make sure to dry the lettuce well or the salad will be too watery after you will add the dressing.

STEP 3: Peel the pear (you can also leave the skin on if you’d like), cut into 4 parts, cut out the core, then cut each part into thin slices. Arrange the pear slices on top of the salad greens.

STEP 4: Toast the walnuts on a dry pan until they are browned and fragrant. Take off the pan immediately as they can burn quickly. Cut the cheese into small cubes. Arrange the cranberries, walnuts, and cheese on top of the salad.

Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve.

Enjoy!

Pear walnut salad with cranberries and goat cheese on a white plate.

How to make it ahead:

You can wash your lettuce, dry it (preferably in a salad spinner), and store in a closed container in the fridge. You can also prepare the dressing, and toast the walnuts (this can be made 2 days ahead, store the dressing in the fridge). Cut the pear into slices right before serving – it will quickly start to brown a bit.

What to serve it with:

You can serve it as an appetizer, with pizza, burgers, pasta, it would go well with Thanksgiving menu.
Serve it as a light lunch. It would be great with some crusty bread or focaccia.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Pear walnut salad with cranberries and goat cheese

This pear walnut salat is a fresh and vibrant salad, with sweet and sour flavors and different textures. Sweet pear and cranberries, crunchy walnuts, delicate lettuce and flavorful goat cheese are drizzled with simple lemon dijon vinaigrette.
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Lemon dijon vinaigrette is being poured over a pear walnut salad with cranberries and goat cheese.
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No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 434kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the salad:

  • 2 handfuls mixed salad greens I used lamb’s lettuce
  • 1 large ripe pear
  • 1/4 cup (30g) dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup (35g) walnuts
  • 2 oz (60g) semi-firm goat cheese, 4 slices

for the lemon dijon vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Wash the lettuce and spin it dry. Put on a large plate.
  • Peel the pear (you can also leave the skin on if you’d like), cut into 4 parts, cut out the core, then cut each part into thin slices. Arrange the pear slices on top of the salad greens.
  • Toast the walnuts on a dry pan until they are browned and fragrant. Take off the pan immediately as they can burn quickly.
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes.
  • Arrange the cranberries, walnuts, and cheese on top of the salad.
  • Make the dressing: add all the ingredients into a small jar, close the lid and shake until well combined. You can also whiz all ingredients in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper, adjust to your taste by adding more lemon juice, mustard, or honey.
  • Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure to dry your lettuce well or the salad will be too watery after you add the dressing.
  • See blog post for many substitution suggestions.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/2 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Salad
Cuisine international
Keyword lemon dijon vinaigrette, pear cranberry salad, pear walnut salad

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