Sweet delicious grilled pears mixed with salty shaved parmesan on a bed of crunchy arugula leaves are a match made in heaven. Crisp and refreshing, it is a perfect summer day salad recipe.
First pubished in January 2021, updated January 16, 2021
Do you know the moment when you have been invited to a BBQ or a dinner party and the host tells you that you don’t have to bring a thing… or maybe just a SIMPLE SALAD! I always asked myself how simple this salad should actually be? And that is where the struggle begins. Of course, we don’t want to make just a simple salad! We want this salad to be delicious and that by the end of the event this salad plater is empty. Ideally, it also would be easy to make. Do you know the situation? Do not fear my friend! I am glad you are here because today I will share with you the most amazing pear salad with arugula (rocket), pear and parmesan! Your PERFECT SIMPLE SALAD!
What to love about the pear salad with arugula (rocket):
- Super easy to make.
- It is healthy and nourishing, thanks to all the natural ingredients. Great way to build up your green intake.
- Looks beautiful and is a great option to take to a friend’s BBQ party, when you told not to bring a thing.
- It is family-friendly recipe. I promise your kids will love it, at least the grilled pear part 😉
- Is simply delicious!
You might have already tried to make this kind of salad before, but I promise you this is the simplest and best recipe you ever will come across. It is literally done in 10 minutes and it ticks all the boxes we spoke about above. The main secret of my variation of this amazing pear salad is that I quickly grill (or rather fry) my pears. This makes a huge difference in how this salad tastes.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this healthy salad:
- Baby arugula leaves. We call it rocket here in Australia. Italians call it e rucola. No matter how you want to call it, you need to find the baby leaves! The baby arugula leaves are smaller and more delicate. They are milder in taste than the mature variety. It is especially important if you want your little ones to give it a go.
- Pear. Any pear will work, but it is important that your pear is not quite ripe. The ripe pear will dissolve when you cook it and we want the pear slices to keep their shape.
- Parmesan. There are many kinds of cheeses in the supermarket that are called parmesan. Not all of them are. I recommend you look for an imported Italian Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano as it will make a huge difference to your salad. For a more budget friendly variety choose Grana Padano, it tastes very similar to Parmesan and costs much less. If for any reason you can’t find Parmesan cheese or you are one of the crazy people who doesn’t like Parmesan 🙂 – you can subtitute with goat or feta cheese. It will taste a little different, nevertheless delicious.
Arugula salad dressing ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil. Always choose oil that is sold in glass bottles, never in plastic.
- Balsamic vinegar. Choose a sticky one. It will add a little more texture to the salad, but any sweet balsamic vinegar will work. I even used sticky fig syrup before.
- Salt and pepper to season
- Choose underripe pears for the best results. If your pears are too soft they will fall apart while you are cooking/barbequing them.
- Look for baby arugula, it tastes milder and is more kids-friendly.
- The other little trick is to shave the parmesan with a julienne peeler. This way you will have long thin strips of parmesan and they will stick to the pear and to the arugula leaves which will ensure that every bite has all the complexity of flavours – the sweetness of pears, the saltiness of parmesan, the slightly bitter peppery taste of arugula leaves mixed with sicky balsamic dressing – yum-yum!!
- If you don’t have sticky balsamic vinegar you can add 1/2 tsp of honey to add a little bit of creaminess to the dressing.
- Don’t have or don’t like Parmesan? Use feat, goat, pecorino, or blue cheese instead.
Can I make pear and arugula salad in advance?
While this salad tastes the best fresh, you can save a little time by preparing some of the components a day in advance. Do this:
- Wash and dry the arugula leaves and store them in the fridge in an air-tight container. Make sure the leaves are dry. Want it even faster? Many supermarkets offer prewashed arugula leaves ready to be used.
- Shave Parmesan and store in an air-tight container or lock zip bag in the fridge.
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and refrigerate. Shake vigorously before serving.
- Cut the pears and sprinkle them with lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Though I would recommend cutting the pear on the day for the best results.
More healthy salad recipes to try:
If you make this Pear and Arugula Salad, please let me know what you think in the comments below, it will absolutely make my day!