This Fall Pear Chopped Salad is full of Fall pears, dried cranberries, pecans, goat cheese and bacon bits, on top of romaine lettuce and with a homemade poppy seed dressing.
I’m always sad to see Summer move to Fall. Oh I know it’s not technically Fall yet, but in my head … it’s Fall :) Signs of Fall have been showing themselves here for the past couple of weeks, with colder nights and the bits of colour creeping in to the maple trees. But thankfully, there are still a good couple of months of fresh from the garden (or trees), food goodness ahead.
Today, I’m enjoying fresh Fall pears, with this Fall Pear Chopped Salad. It’s the perfect way to transition salads to Fall.
I don’t like to pick favourite salads, but let’s just say this one would be right up there! The combination of flavours is just a winner. It starts with ripe, firm Fall pears and is combined with dried cranberries, pecans, goat cheese and bacon. Yes, bacon is the perfect salty note in this salad and it pairs so well with the other flavours. It also provides a bit more heartiness for Fall.
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As for salad dressing, I use a quick and easy homemade poppy seed dressing, then finish it all off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze (Affiliate Link). If you’re not familiar with balsamic glaze, I highly recommend adding it to your pantry. It is essentially balsamic vinegar that is lightly sweetened and reduced in to a thicker liquid. It’s sold in handy, dandy squeeze bottles, so it’s easy to grab and drizzle on all kinds of things.
Cook’s Notes for Fall Pear Chopped Salad
I love the super leafy, fresh romaine lettuce that’s available this time of year. It’s usually sold loose in single heads. It’s darker in colour than the packaged romaine heads. If you can’t find that, whatever you can find is fine, or use another green if you prefer.
This salad is also lovely with crumbled feta cheese instead of goat cheese, if you’d like to change it up or that’s what you have on hand.
You don’t want to cut the pears for the salad ahead, as they will brown as they sit. Cut them just before serving. I don’t peel mine. You can if you like. As for which pears, I love Bartlett. Look for ripe, but still firm ones for this salad. If you want to change it up, try Red Pears. They are quite firm, even when ripe, with a more tart, almost apple-like flavour.
Likewise, don’t dress the salad too far ahead, as it will get soggy. I try to have everything chopped and ready, but stored separately, then brought together, tossed and dressed shortly before serving.
What to serve with Fall Pear Chopped Salad
I love this salad for lunch, on it’s own, or for dinner, with something simple on the side.
This pear salad has a lot of flavour, so it’s best paired with something simple, like grilled chicken or perhaps fish/salmon. Later in the Fall, it would be nice paired with my Braised Beef Stew with Cranberries. Add some mashed potatoes for a delicious and hearty meal!
For entertaining, maybe pair this lovely salad with pork tenderloin, roasted up with a simple balsamic glaze and sliced. Here are a few from the Seasons & Suppers archives …
The Fall flavours of this salad would also make it perfect for the Thanksgiving table!
Useful Items to Make this Dish …
My vintage wooden salad bowl is one of my favourite pieces. It is not too big and handy to grab and toss a salad in. And of course, it looks so pretty on the table. A good solid wood salad bowl is a great addition to any kitchen. Here are a couple that caught my eye on Amazon.com …
Fall Pear Chopped Salad
A delicious Fall salad, featuring fresh pears, dried cranberries, pecans, goat cheese and a bit of bacon. One of my favourite salads any time of year!
- 1 head leafy romaine lettuce chopped in to bite-sized pieces
- 5 slices bacon cooked, cooled and crumbled
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecan halves roughly chopped
- 2 pears cored removed and roughly chopped (peeled or un-peeled)
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing:
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Pinch salt/pepper
- Balsamic Glaze
Cook bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool, then crumble.
Prepare the salad dressing by combining all ingredients and whisking until smooth, thickened and creamy. Set aside.
Add chopped romaine to salad bowl. Top with dried cranberries, pecans, chopped pear and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with some of the poppy seed dressing. Toss to combine, adding more dressing if needed.
Drizzle top with balsamic glaze. Serve and enjoy