The pear often takes a backseat to the apple during the fall months but it is a featured fruit of the season nonetheless. While I’m guilty of preferring the apple over the pear, I still like to take advantage of cooking and eating whatever the freshest finds are at my local supermarket and farmer’s market (which obviously includes many pear varietals). My Autumn Pear Salad is a beautiful blend of seasonal ingredients that creates the perfect must-make salad for fall-inspired meals.

I served this salad at my first IF: Table luncheon back in September 2018 alongside my Fall Festive Ravioli and it was a big hit. Well, at least that’s the response I felt when there was a minute or two of complete silence amongst 8 women because all of our mouths were full as we savored the scrumptious flavors of this festively fall meal 🙂 Whether you use the balsamic vinaigrette recipe or the champagne vinaigrette recipe (both posted below), this salad is sure to please even the most discerning palate. Bonus: You can serve this salad as a side or as a meal (just add your favorite protein – savory pork chops or roasted chicken breast would be a great accompaniment for this salad).

Autumn Pear Salad

Serves 5 as a side

Prep Time: 8-10 minutes

Cook Time (for the walnuts): 10-12 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely diced, or 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 EVOO
  • 1/3 champagne vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely diced, or 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3-4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 Dijon mustard (grainy or regular)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/8 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 7-8 oz Spring Salad & Spinach blend (or other mixed greens)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or blue cheese)
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced (bartlett, anjou, or any other pear varietal)
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Let’s do this!

  1. To make either dressing, use a blender, food processor or an immersion blender and blend together all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve. (A mason jar works nicely and is easy to shake up when you’re ready to dress the salad!) 
  2. To make the candied walnuts, melt butter along with brown sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Once sugar has melted, add walnuts and cook, stirring constantly until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate in a single layer to cool. Option: If you don’t want the extra “hands on” time, you can also melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and the walnuts. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet (or sheet of tin foil) and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  3. While the walnuts are cooking, thinly slice the pear and onion. In a large bowl, toss together the mixed greens, cranberries, pear, onion, and cheese. Add the walnuts once they’re “candied.” Pour in the dressing when you’re ready to serve the salad (pre-dressing the greens in advance of serve time will make this salad soggy).
  4. Enjoy!

  1. […] If you cannot find pumpkin ravioli at your local grocery store, you can substitute butternut squash ravioli instead or use a mix of both ravioli varietals. If you want to round out this meal and take advantage of more seasonal yumminess, I recommend serving my Fall Festive Ravioli alongside my Autumn Pear Salad.  […]

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