Pear and Arugula Salad with Cranberry Orange Dressing
Crisp greens are tossed with arugula, pears, and crunchy pecan oat clusters then topped with an irresistible cranberry orange dressing. Pretty and perfect to serve for the holidays!
Hello! I hope everyone had a great weekend!
I spent most of Saturday morning working and then later on we went to a party at a friend’s house to watch a couple of musicians perform live classical music on the piano and the cello. The party was set up through a website called Groupmuse, where you can arrange for musicians to come perform at your house for a group of friends. Have you heard of it?
It was the first time I’ve ever seen musicians perform in an intimate setting like that and it was really cool. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re into classical music.
Moving on to the food. I know everything is ALL about the cookies right now but we can please stop for a minute to pay tribute to the lovely fruits and vegetables that are currently in season?
Like crisp greens, fresh pears, tart cranberries and juicy oranges which all happen to be wrapped up in this delicious and beautiful salad. (insert nerd emoji here)
I was inspired to recreate it after we had something similar out to eat at a local wine bar earlier this year.
It was made from a bed of arugula and pears (obviously), and it was topped with these amazing crunchy pecan oat clusters which were almost like candied croutons.
As if it couldn’t get any better, it was finished off with a cranberry orange dressing that made it look almost as magical as it tasted.
It’s obviously not an everyday salad seeing how the dressing and the clusters take a bit of effort to make but it comes together fairly easy. Plus, the dressing makes almost 16 ounces so you’re likely to have leftovers to enjoy later in the week.
If you’re looking for a salad to serve at your holiday table, this one is sure to be a hit. As for the cookies, don’t worry, I’ve got more of those coming soon! ;)
For the Salad
5 cups green lettuce, romaine or baby spinach, chopped
5 cups arugula
2 pears, cored and sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
For the Oat Pecan Clusters
1 and 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons raw honey (or brown rice syrup)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cranberry Orange Dressing
12 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup raw honey (or maple syrup/brown rice syrup)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest (from two oranges)
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
pinch salt & pepper
- To make the dressing, combine the cranberries with the honey, apple cider vinegar and orange juice in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries are soft enough to break open. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once the cranberries have cooled, add them to a blender with the orange zest, mustard and salt & pepper. Blend on high until smooth then transfer to a sealed container.
- To make the pecan oat clusters, preheat the oven to 300°F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pecans, oats, coconut sugar and salt in a small bowl and stir together. Drizzle the honey (or brown rice syrup) on top and stir until all of the pecans are well coated and begin to stick together with the oats. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and use your hands to press it down in a large circle, making sure that it’s one large piece that holds together. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes then set aside to cool completely before breaking into pieces.
- Assemble the salad by combining greens of choice with the arugula and the pear in a large bowl. Add the pecan oat clusters and the dried cranberries and toss together. Serve with the cranberry orange dressing on the side and enjoy!
Store leftover dressing in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.