Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette is an addicting blend of crisp romaine, juicy pear, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and toasted almonds tossed in a fresh pear vinaigrette!  

cranberry-pear-salad-with-fresh-pear-vinaigrette1 | flavorthemoments.com

Do you have that special salad that you turn to time and time again for entertaining, holidays, and what not because people just flip out over it?  And when I mean flip out, I mean they request that salad and if they don’t get it, you may not be forgiven?

I’m being a bit extreme, but this salad is and has been that salad for my family for a good 15 solid years.  The funny thing is, it was the first recipe I posted here two years ago because I couldn’t think of a better way to start things off.

cranberry-pear-salad-with-fresh-pear-vinaigrette2 | flavorthemoments.com

This salad has a history.  I first tasted one similar to this at my old roommate’s birthday party, and it blew me and everyone else away.  It was when the fruit-nut-cheese salad thing was taking off big time, and I asked what on earth was in that salad that made it so special.

I found out and came up with my own recipe based on those ingredients.  The original salad was made with Paul Newman’s Caesar dressing, and you can certainly use that if you want to keep it simple.  I worked hard to make a homemade dressing that did this salad justice, however, and this is how I made this salad my own.

cranberry-pear-salad-with-fresh-pear-vinaigrette3 | flavorthemoments.com

This was a big deal to me, because it couldn’t be just any old dressing.  This salad shows up on the Thanksgiving table, as well as Christmas and sometimes Easter.  Birthdays, family dinners, whatever…this salad is tradition.

I tried it with homemade Caesar dressing….nope.  I tried it with a few other variations and it wasn’t the same.  This week I tried making a vinaigrette out of fresh pear, and I knew immediately that this dressing was it.

cranberry-pear-salad-with-fresh-pear-vinaigrette6 | flavorthemoments.com

This dressing tastes even better than it looks, and you may just want to grab a straw and drink it.

I refuse to admit if I did that or not. 😉

 

If there’s one salad that you want to serve for Thanksgiving, this is it!  And then make it any other time that you want a special salad.  It’s amazing.  Sweet, juicy pears, tangy dried cranberries, salty feta, toasty almonds, and crisp romaine tossed in a flavorful fresh pear vinaigrette.

You want this…I promise….and don’t be surprised if it becomes an instant tradition for your family, too. 🙂

cranberry-pear-salad-with-fresh-pear-vinaigrette3 | flavorthemoments.com

 

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette is an addicting blend of crisp romaine, juicy pear, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and toasted almonds tossed in a fresh pear vinaigrette! 

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup peeled and cored fresh pear, diced (about 1 large pear)
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 6 ounce container of chopped Romaine (or two hearts of Romaine cleaned and chopped)
  • One large ripe Bartlett pear, cored and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped or slivered almonds, toasted*

Directions:

Prepare the dressing:

  1. Place the pear chunks, vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed chute until emulsified. Add the salt and pepper, to taste and mix once more.

Prepare the salad:

  • Place the romaine, sliced pear, dried cranberries, feta and toasted almonds. Add the desired amount of dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • Total time above does not reflect the time to toast the almonds. To toast them, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. You can save time by purchasing pre-toasted slivered almonds at Trader Joe’s!
  • Dressing can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Recipe source:  Flavor the Moments

// All images and text ©.

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette is an addicting blend of crisp romaine, juicy pear, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and toasted almonds tossed in a fresh pear vinaigrette!