This Sweet Pear Balsamic Salad is one of those salads you just can’t get enough of!! It’s sweet & savory while being perfect on it’s own but also a great side or starter salad. You begin with a bed of lettuce topped with pan seared and balsamic glazed pear slices, roasted pecans, cranberries and then finish with a sweet balsamic dressing. Bound to impress with its fresh and delicious flavor, it’s the perfect mixture of sweet with just enough salty! Are you drooling yet!? I know I am!
Notes & Substitutions:
As perfect as this Sweet Pear Balsamic Salad is, there are some substitutions you can make that will still make the salad taste just as great!
Pecans: The only other nut I think would be just as good is walnuts. Prepare and roast them the exact way the recipe calls.
Olive Oil: I prefer High Quality Olive Oil because of its health benefits, but any neutral tasting oil should do well in the dressing. This includes oils like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil and canola oil.
Dried Cranberries: Dried cherries would also taste great!
Romaine Lettuce: Other greens that would be a good base of the salad are any type of lettuce, mixed greens or even kale!
Maple Syrup: Here you can substitute any sticky sweetener- I personally love using agave and honey!
Prep ahead of time!
One great thing about this salad if that there are a few steps you can do ahead of time.
Roasted Pecans: You can roast the pecans up to 5 days ahead of time and they will still be good. I found that they taste best the day they’ve been roasted, so I suggest making them first thing in the morning the day you plan on serving the salad.
Sweet Balsamic Dressing: The dressing can easily be made up to a week in advance. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. This is great also because if you have any left over you can always save it and use it on other salads!
Pan Seared Pears: This is the one thing I don’t suggest doing ahead of time. Since they’re cooked in coconut oil, it hardens in the fridge which can give them a weird texture. If you must, then let the pears sit out for at least 1 hour before serving so they will get to room temperature before serving.
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I would love to know what you think of this Sweet Pear and Balsamic Salad! Please share comments and pictures of how it turns out for you! Happy cooking, friends!
- 1 large head Romaine
- ~2/3 cup Dried Cranberries
- For the Pan Seared Pears:
- 2 pears, still a little firm
- ½ tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- For the Pecans:
- 1 cup Pecans
- ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt for sprinkling
- For the Sweet Balsamic Dressing:
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Salt to taste
- For the Pecans: Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss pecans in olive oil and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast in preheated oven until slightly darkened in color- about 12-14 minutes. Let cool.
- For the Pears: Cut 2 pears into slices long ways and cut out the seeds. I cut each pear into six pieces, but you can cut them into 4 or 8, if desired. On medium heat, melt coconut oil. Place pears cut side down and let cook for 2-3 minutes until browned. Flip to the other cut side and cook until that side is browned. Turn off the burner and add balsamic vinegar. Gently stir until the balsamic vinegar turns to a glaze and coats the pears- about 1 min. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- For the Dressing: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Prepare the salad: Wash and chop the lettuce. Over each salad, top with cranberries, roasted pecans, pears and dressing. Serve immediately.
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