An autumn pear salad is the perfect addition to your holiday spread. It's flavorful, healthy and so easy to throw together with kale, feta, pecans & grapes!
True or False: Salads are best in the summer. Well, judging by the title of this post, I hope you realize my answer is false! Salads are not only made for summer. Salads are for every season. You just have to know the right produce to include in said salad. It’s been autumn for a minute and it’s time for me to share this fall-inspired pear salad! Here’s hoping I inspire you to eat more salads this autumn.
What I love about this pear salad is it has pears, which let’s face it, is not really one of the popular fruits to include in salads. But it has a sweet mild flavor, a tender bite and is in season in the fall. All great reasons to include it in the line-up when making a salad this time of year.
How to Make this Autumn Pear Salad
I love getting creative with salads, and there are usually no rules. The only rule I ever follow is about how to make a salad dressing. You guys, there’s an actual formula!
- 3 parts high-quality oil – extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are great
- 1 part acid – vinegar, lemon, lime
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Some type of emulsifier – this could be mayonnaise, mustard or yogurt or even maple syrup and honey, for example. This helps it bind, but it’s not necessary.
- Some fresh or dried herbs
That’s basically it! And that’s what I did here.
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Maple syrup
- Fresh thyme
- And I threw in garlic (because I’m Lebanese and my mom taught me to flavor everything with garlic haha!)
Next I wash some kale leaves and tear them up with my hands. And I pour the dressing right over it. I like massaging the dressing into the kale leaves to make sure they soften a bit. You’ll also notice the color of the kale will get darker green when massaged. Make sure you have a big enough bowl for all this massaging.
And then it’s just about assembling everything on top of the kale to make the pear salad. I add pecans, feta cheese, sliced grapes, and of course, pears. I like to throw in the pears right when I’m about to serve if I want to keep the delicate shapes of them.
Or I sometimes toss them in some lemon juice if I’m preparing ahead of time. This will help the pears not oxidize quickly and turn brown – which will make any appealing pear salad far less appealing!
What pears are good for salad?
You can use pretty much use any ripe pears that you like. Here’s a great guide to what you can expect from the following popular pears:
- Anjous – firm, mild-flavored pears
- Asian – very crunchy and mild flavored
- Bartletts – juicy and full of flavor
- Bosc – more crisp and mild sweetness
- Concord – more crisp and the highest sweetness
This is a big beautiful salad that is full of fall harvest from the pears to the grapes, pecans and kale. It’s healthy, flavorful and so easy to throw together! It has a wonderful sweet and salty combination along with crunchy and chewy textures.
The other awesome thing about this pear salad is that leftovers actually taste great the next day. The pear may slightly turn darker, but the extra time in the fridge helps all those flavors really settle without any wilted greens. This is why I love serving this salad when I have guests over. I can make a huge portion and not worry about throwing leftovers away.
Try these other autumn salads:
If you make this healthy-ish feelgood Autumn Pear Salad recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see your recreations.
Autumn Pear Salad
- 2 heads kale
- 1/4 cup Pecans
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup grapes sliced
- 1 pear sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Remove the stems from the kale, and tear up with your hands into bite size piece. Place in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinaigrette, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. You can also use a mini blender like I did for easier blending.
- Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to combine. You can also massage the dressing into the kale with your hands.
- Arrange the pecans, feta cheese, grapes and pears on top of the tossed kale, and enjoy!