Pear and Arugula Salad with Walnuts, Cranberries and Feta

This pear and arugula salad looks and feels very sophisticated, but it’s super easy to make. Do you use arugula in salads? If you’re new to it and find it a bit too peppery, try a mix of spinach and arugula or use any other leafy green combination. Like any salad, this one can be altered just the way you like it.

sliced pears on arugula in bowl with cranberries, walnuts and feta
Enjoy the peppery zip of arugula with sweet pears, crunchy walnuts and salty feta.

Other Fruit on Salad Ideas: Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad, Pear and Pomegranate Salad, Citrus Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Salads like this with fruit and colourful ingredients are too pretty to toss in a bowl and have everything sink to the bottom. Try arranging them on a large plate, shallow bowl or platter. If you’re really ambitious, you could even make individual plates.

pear and arugula with pomegranates, pecans and feta on platter
This version uses pears, arugula, pomegranates, candied pecans and feta.

What does Arugula Taste Like?

Arugula, which you may have had on pizza, on sandwiches, with pasta or in salads, has a unique, bright peppery, somewhat tart flavour. It changes depending on whether it’s young and tender or a little older and tougher when it can start to taste a little bitter.

Here’s another little tid bit about arugula – in addition to being full of awesome dark green leafy type nutrients, apparently it’s also an aphrodisiac.  But don’t let that stop you!  

If you find arugula a little too strong for your liking, try one of the many leafy green blends available in stores now. An arugula spinach blend would be great. Or try kale, swiss chard and spinach. Trust me the sweetness of the pears and cranberries plus the crunch of the walnuts and the saltiness of the feta are perfect for these hardy greens. Of course, if you really want, romaine or any other leafy green will work too.

This time I used an arugula spinach blend.

Toppings for Pear and Arugula Salad

I have made this salad in many different times. Sometimes I vary the dressing using just oil and balsamic vinegar (if you can find a good white balsamic – it’s divine!). The garnishes or finishing touches, change based on what’s in season and what’s in my pantry and fridge. Here are some ideas.

Nuts & Seeds – candied pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, toasted sliced almondstoasted pepitas, sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, etc.

Cheese – go as sharp or mild as you like – blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan, cheddar, Gouda

Fruit – fresh or frozen pomegranates, dried apricots, apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, watermelon etc.

Other Flavour Makers – red onion slices, green onions, croutons, roasted chickpeas, etc.

Target all the taste buds: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.

Recipe for Pear and Arugula Salad

Try this super delicious and easy to make arugula salad.  The sweetness of the pears and cranberries, the crunch of the toasted walnuts and the creaminess of the goat cheese are incredible with this green rocket.

sliced pears on arugula in bowl with cranberries, walnuts and feta
Print Recipe
4 from 4 votes

Pear & Arugula Salad

A salad that looks as delicious as it tastes.
Prep : 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Getty Stewart

Ingredients

  • 8 cups arugula or leafy green mix
  • 2 pears sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces or glazed pecans
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • Dressing
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Wash and dry arugula.
  • Arrange arugula on large serving platter. Place pears, cranberries, walnuts and feta on top.
  • Prepare dressing by combining all ingredients in jar. Seal and shake vigourously. Serve on side to let each guest add their own or pour over salad.
  • Serve and enjoy

Notes

Lots of room for variations – try apples, pomegranates or grapes and glazed pecans instead. Cheese lovers will want to try it with different cheese every time – shaved Parmesan, blue cheese, Gorgonzola or goat cheese.
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 158mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 26g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: arugula, arugula salad, dried cranberries, pears

If you have extra arugula, put it on pizza, pasta, egg dishes, sandwiches, tacos, etc. I like it with roasted root vegetables and fried eggs – a perfect lunch using up leftovers!

Ready to try this arugula pear salad? Let me know what you think in the comments below or on Instagram @GetGettyS or on Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist. Tag me, I’d love to see and like your photos.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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