This fresh arugula pear salad features baby arugula, sweet pears and sliced fennel all dressed in a flavorful and tangy Parmesan vinaigrette. The combination of the peppery arugula, sweet pears, and tangy dressing creates a perfect balance of flavors that pairs well with any main course! And the best part, done in 10 minutes!
If you are looking for that perfect salad that goes with just about anything you will love this fresh arugula and pear salad! Arugula, pear and parmesan cheese are classic flavor combinations with layers of zesty flavors! Peppery, sweet, savory and tangy, this arugula pear salad has it all!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- This salad is full of layers, flavors and textures!
- You can make this arugula salad in under 10 minutes!
- Make the arugula pear salad ahead of time and add the dressing later. Perfect to make ahead for a party or meal prep.
- The parmesan dressing can also be used as a delicious marinade for roasted chicken!
- Arugula: Look for baby arugula which will be more tender and have a more peppery flavor.
- Pear: Red Anjou pears are used in this recipe, which are juicy, sweet and firm enough to hold up in a salad. Other pear varieties to add are green Anjou pear or bosc pear.
- Fennel: When eaten raw, fennel has a slight licorice flavor with a similar texture to celery. Take the time to slice it very thin with a mandolin.
- Parmesan: Invest in a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano, which is aged and has great depth of flavor. Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin shavings on top of the pear salad and grate parmesan to add to the parmesan vinaigrette.
- Slivered Almonds: Look for toasted or roasted almonds, which adds another layer of crunch and flavor to the arugula salad. Save some toasted almonds to make a batch of basil almond pesto.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon zest and juice is used in the bright parmesan vinaigrette. Use a microplane to zest the lemon.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
🧀 Substitutions and Variations
- If arugula isn't available, substitute with baby spinach or baby kale.
- Instead of parmesan, add crumbled goat cheese or crumbled blue cheese, such as creamy gorgonzola.
- Apple and jicama are great substitutions for pear.
- Instead of almonds, substitute with walnuts, pine nuts or pistachios.
Step 1: Make the Parmesan vinaigrette. To a resealable jar, pour in the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese. Shake well to emulsify
Step 2: To a large bowl, add the arugula, chopped pear, shaved fennel and toasted almonds.
Step 3: Pour the parmesan dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Garnish with shaved parmesan on top and serve.
📍 Recipe Tips
- Keep the arugula fresh by placing a sheet of paper towel directly on the arugula. This will trap any excess moisture, keeping the arugula leaves fresh and crisp!
- Make a double batch of the parmesan vinaigrette and shake it in a resealable jar. Use what you need for the salad and store the rest in the jar for later use.
If cutting pears ahead of time for a salad, toss the cut pears in lemon juice, which will prevent the browning.
Arugula is fresh and peppery and pairs with a number of ingredients such as parmesan cheese, blue cheese, pear and apples. Arugula is also great in making arugula pesto.
After purchasing arugula, place a sheet of paper towel onto the arugula to catch excess moisture, which will keep the leaves crisp.
Yes, if making the salad ahead of time, toss the chopped pear in lemon juice to prevent browning. Then add the arugula, pear and other salad ingredients to a large bowl with a sheet of paper towel on top. Toss with vinaigrette right before serving.
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Arugula Pear Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
Arugula Pear Salad
- Make the Parmesan Vinaigrette. Add the olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper to a bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until emulsified.
- Assemble the Salad. To a bowl, add the arugula, chopped pear, sliced fennel and toasted almonds and pour half of the vinaigrette over the salad.
- Gently toss the salad together so all of the salad is lightly coated with the vinaigrette and add more dressing, if desired.
- Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
- Place a sheet of paper towel on the arugula as soon as you purchase it. This will collect any excess moisture and keep the leaves crisp.
- Parmesan vinaigrette can be made 3 days in advanced and kept in the refrigerator.
- Toss the chopped pear in lemon juice to prevent browning.