A perfect Fall salad, this Brussels sprout and pear salad has added dried cranberries, pecans and goat cheese, all tossed in a maple mustard vinaigrette.
If you’re looking for a lovely Fall salad recipe, this pear salad fits the bill perfectly. With Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, pecans and goat cheese, this is a hearty and delicious salad, that’s all at once crunchy, nutty, creamy, tangy and sweet.
What you’ll need
Brussels Sprouts – you’ll need about 1/2 lb. (225g) fresh Brussels sprouts.
Pears – use any pear you have or enjoy. Red pear is pretty, but I used Anjou pears here. Use pears that are ripe, but still firm, so they slice well and don’t get mushy. You’ll need 2 pears.
Dried Cranberries – use sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries.
Pecans – or walnuts are perfect for this salad. Use what you have or enjoy.
Goat cheese – I love goat cheese, but if it isn’t your favourite, substitute crumbled feta cheese.
For the vinaigrette – you’ll need olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. You could substitute honey for the maple syrup.
- Add the dried cranberries to a small bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar and microwave for 45 seconds. Set aside.
- Quarter the pears and cut away the core portion. Slice into thin slices and add to a salad bowl.
- Cut away the tough core, then half the Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Lay flat and thinly slice. Add to the bowl with the pears.
- Add the cranberries to the bowl. Toss well and let stand 15 minutes, tossing once or twice.
- Toast the pecans, then chop and add to the bowl.
- Add the goat cheese crumbles to the bowl, then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss to combine well. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Making ahead and storing this pear salad
This salad keeps surprisingly well in the fridge for a couple of hours, so don’t hesitate to make it a bit ahead. Leftovers will keep in the fridge another day. (The weak point in this salad will be the pears, so if you need to make it ahead, you could add the pears closer to serving. Make sure to use firm pears to start with, for the best results when making ahead.)
Get the Recipe: Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad
For the salad:
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 pears, ripe, but firm, unpeeled, quartered and cored
- 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, fresh
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (can substitute crumbled feta cheese)
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup, or honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- In a small bowl combine the cranberries and vinegar. Microwave uncovered until heated about 45 seconds (Alternately, warm the vinegar in a small saucepan on the stovetop, then remove from heat and add the cranberries. Set aside.
- Quarter and core the pears, then thinly slice the thick part of the pear. Add to a large salad bowl. Remove the tough core end of the Brussels sprouts, then cut in half lengthwise. Lay the flat side of the sprout on a cutting board and thinly slice from the rounded end. Add the sliced sprouts to the bowl with the pear sliced. Add the cranberry/vinegar mixture to the bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper, then toss well to combine. Let stand for 15 minutes, tossing a couple of times as it sits.
- Meanwhile, add the pecans to a dry, non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring regularly, until toasted and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a cutting board to cool slightly, then chop as needed.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Seal the jar and shake or whisk together well. Set aside.
- Once salad has rested, add the pecans and goat cheese to the bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with vinaigrette, as needed, to moisten.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, if needed.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!