Pear and Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts

Pears, pomegranates, walnuts, and arugula are the less flamboyant autumn cousins to apples and pumpkins IMHO… This Pear and Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts includes pomegranate arils and feta cheese, and gets tossed with an easy chamoy vinaigrette. It’s a gorgeous and healthy salad to grace your holiday table, and simple enough to serve on busy weeknights!

A white salad plate with pear and arugula salad with candied walnuts, feta cheese, and pomegranates tossed with a luscious chamoy vinaigrette!

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Pears and Autumn Salads

What inspired this recipe? Fresh pears to be perfectly honest. I recently started using Imperfect Foods on the regular, and the pears have been my favorite item on my order for several weeks.

When you think of autumn produce, you think apples and pumpkins, yes? My spinach and apple salad is a favorite at Andersen casa. Pears, arugula, and walnuts – 3 key ingredients in this recipe – are fall favorites as well. They deserve their due as well!

This arugula salad recipe is stunning visually and in its simplicity (especially if you can get beautiful red pears). Even with the homemade salad dressing, it takes about 20 minutes if your pomegranate is broken down.

Pear and arugula salad ingredients: Arugula, feta, pomegranate arils, chamoy vinaigrette, pears, candied walnuts.

Pear and Arugula Salad

  • arugula – I used a mix of arugula and spinach on photo day as that is what was available. I love the peppery bite of the arugula with the other ingredients. You can use your preferred greens.
  • pear(s) – My favorite pear is red anjou, but fall is pear season, so choose the best pears you can find. Your pears should be firm, but yield when pressed.
  • candied walnuts – September/October, walnuts are at their peak. I had some really nice walnuts, and they pair very well with pairs. Pecans would work well also.
  • sugar – I always use turbinado pure cane sugar. White sugar is fine too.
  • feta cheese – The salty tang of feta is perfect with the peppery arugula and the sweet pears. I have made it with chèvre, and it is quite good.
  • pomegranate arils – I love the flavor and crunch that pomegranate arils add to the salad. Pre-packaged arils are a great time-saver if you don’t want to break down a pomegranate.
  • chamoy vinaigrette – I will be posting this recipe separately, but include it here for now!

What is Chamoy Vinaigrette?

A few weeks ago, I posted a homemade chamoy recipe, and I chose to focus on fresh apricots (I did include a note for substituting preserves).

Chamoy is a Mexican condiment with savory, fruity, sweet, salty, spicy, and tart flavors. It reminds me a bit of Asian sweet and sour sauce, but it brings a little bit of heat too.

So, chamoy vinaigrette is a very simple vinaigrette that combines chamoy with lime juice and white wine vinegar, and olive oil. It’s so simple, and comes together in minutes if you’ve got the chamoy made.

You can also use commercial chamoy. Read the label… many brands are mostly sugar and vinegar. Tajín Chamoy is somewhat close to my own recipe, and I will use it in this vinaigrette recipe if I don’t have the ingredients or time to make my own.

A small food processor with the prepared chamoy vinaigrette.

Chamoy Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • chamoy – As I mention above, you can use homemade or commercially produced chamoy. Check the ingredients. Many brands are all sugar and sodium.
  • limes – The best salad dressing require the freshest ingredients. Use FRESH lime juice!
  • olive oil – I use extra virgin olive oil for dressings, but nothing fancy.
  • vinegar – I like a mild, non-abrasive vinegar like white wine vinegar. You can use champagne vinegar, or sherry vinegar as well.
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Make the chamoy vinaigrette – Add dressing ingredients to a blender or small food processor. Process until smooth. Check for seasoning, and set aside.
  2. Candy the walnuts – Heat the sugar over medium-high heat in a small sauté pan. Melt the sugar completely, stirring often. Reduce heat slightly, add walnuts. Stir until completely coated. Scrape onto waxed paper or foil. Season generously with fine sea salt (I like my grinder). Chop if pieces are too big.
  3. Prepare the salad – Add the greens, diced pear, crumbled feta, and candied walnuts to an appropriate salad bowl. Toss with the prepared dressing. Garnish with pomegranate arils.
Raw sugar in a black cast iron skillet.
Completely caramelized sugar before adding the walnuts.
Coarsely chopped walnuts with a chef's knife on a red cutting board.
The coated walnuts on waxed paper (very hot) with sea salt sprinkled on them.
Partially melted sugar in the cast iron skillet
The completed candied walnuts prior to going in the pear and arugula salad.

What other kinds of cheese can I use? I love the salty tang of feta in this salad, but chèvre is good too.

Pomegranates are messy and time-consuming to break down. This break down a pomegranate video is helpful. Alternatively, you can get pre-packaged pomegranate arils at most large markets now.

How long can I keep the chamoy vinaigrette? Homemade vinaigrettes keep 2 weeks in your refrigerator.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Ninja Blender
Chamoy

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

If you made a batch of homemade chamoy, try this delicious pear and arugula salad with chamoy glazed salmon and cilantro rice or red rice. Grilled tajín chicken and salmon in quick green mole verde sauce pair well with this salad as well!

There’s more to fall than pumpkins and apples. I hope you’ll give this easy fall salad recipe a try. If you try it, I’d love feed back through the comments/ratings box below!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
A white round plate with an arugula salad tossed with chamoy vinaigrette.

Pear and Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts

A gorgeous fall salad of greens with pears, pomegranate arils, feta, and candied walnuts tossed with a chamoy vinaigrette!
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 pear - diced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar - raw or white
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces - coarsely chopped
  • 1 ounce feta cheese - crumbled
  • chamoy vinaigrette - recipe follows
  • cup pomegranate arils

Chamoy Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons all natural chamoy
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  • Make the chamoy vinaigrette – Add dressing ingredients to a blender or small food processor. Process until smooth. Check for seasoning, and set aside.
  • Candy the walnuts – Heat the sugar over medium-high heat in a small sauté pan. Melt the sugar completely, stirring often. Reduce heat slightly, add walnuts. Stir until completely coated. Scrape onto waxed paper or foil. Season generously with fine sea salt (I like my grinder). Chop if pieces are too big.
  • Prepare the salad – Add the greens, diced pear, crumbled feta, and candied walnuts to an appropriate salad bowl. Toss with the prepared dressing. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

Notes

I used 1/2 of the vinaigrette in calculating the calories, as we dress salads lightly.
Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com, and for reference purposes only!

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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