This autumn pear salad is bright and crisp. It’s made with spinach, pears, apples, goat cheese and homemade (healthy) candied pecans for a crunch. The dressing packs a punch and all of the ingredients together make a delicious Thanksgiving salad recipe.
We’re currently on day 4 of WMM Thanksgiving week. It’s a week where I’m sharing a new recipe every day for the week in anticipation of Thanksgiving coming up. So far I’ve shared gluten free stuffing, dairy free mashed potatoes and chocolate paleo pecan pie.
Today I’m sharing a healthy salad to add some bright and refreshing flavors to your fall or Thanksgiving spread.
This autumn pear salad is full of fresh ingredients like crispy pomegranate seeds and juicy pears. It’s also filled with apples, candied pecans and you can definitely add goat cheese if you want to!
How to remove seeds from a pomegranate:
This pear salad recipe calls for 1/3 cup of fresh pomegranates. A lot of times people can be intimidated by them because the time it can take to remove the seeds from the fruit. Here’s how to do it easily two ways!
- Cut the pomegranate in half and hold it face down over a large bowl. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until the seeds come out.
- Cute the pomegranate in half and place both halves in a large bowl filled with water. Work to remove the membranes from around the seeds. the seeds will sink and the membrane will float to the top. Remove membrane and strain pomegranates.
What pears are good for salads?
There are two pears I recommend for this autumn pear salad. Both are sweet, crispy or juicy and add lots of flavor and texture to this salad.
- Bartletts are sweet and really really juicy. They’re a great option for this recipe because they’re juice and sweet. Make sure to get a ripe one! You’ll know when they’re somewhat firm, but also soft to touch.
- Bosc pears are one of my favorite pears for this pear salad. They’re crisp and just sweet enough.
Make sure to cut the pears in thin slices lengthwise. You could also cut them in small cubes too!
How to make pear salad dressing:
To make the dressing for this pear salad, start with a base of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar is a great complament to this salad because of the apples in the actual salad.
Next, add the salt, pepper and honey to a jar with the oil and vinegar. Close the lid tight and shake the dressing well until all of the ingredients are mixed togher.
Once it’s mixed, store the salad dressing in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use. Be sure to give it another good shake prior to pouring it over the pear salad.
How do you make pear salad?
To make pear salad, start by making the paleo candied pecans. While they’re in the oven, make the apple cider vinaigrette following the instructions above. You can also remove the pomegranates from the fruit and store those in the fridge. Store the pecans and the dressing until you’re ready to make the salad.
Note: if you’re making this recipe for Thanksgiving. This is a great place to stop if you want to prep part of the recipe ahead of time.
Once you’re ready to make the salad, place the spinach in a large mixing/serving bowl. Next, slice the pear and apple and place on the salad. Add the pomegranates, candied pecans, and goat cheese then pour the dressing over it and toss to mix well
If you love this recipe, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you!
More fall recipes:
- 3 cups raw pecans
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1-6 ounce bag fresh spinach
- 1 cup candied pecans reserving the rest for a snack or add to oats
- 1 ripe pear thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 apple thinly sliced lengthwise
- ⅓ cup fresh pomegranate
- 3-4 ounces fresh goat cheese optional
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt and syrup and mix well. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg white on high for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Gently fold the egg whites into the pecan mixture until fully coated.
Pour pecan mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread out to an even layer. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool and harden on the baking sheet.
While pecans are cooling, prepare the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar or mixing bowl and shake or whisk well to combine.