Crunchy, sweet and pleasantly bitter, this roasted winter pear salad is sure to brighten up any winter day.
Winter meals can be challenging, especially when it comes to salads. While summer is filled with fresh produce, we naturally gravitate more towards comfort food when the options dwindle in winter. But sometimes you just want a little lightness and crunch, something to liven up those last gloomy days before spring officially starts.
That’s where this pear and radicchio salad comes in; bitter, sweet, crunchy and fresh, it’s the antidote to those heavy winter meals we’ve all been subsisting on the last couple months.
It’s a colorful and elegant looking salad you could certainly serve for a special occasion or holiday meal but it’s also easy enough to make any day of the week. Eat it for lunch or serve it as part of a larger meal for dinner. What makes this winter salad so delightfully refreshing is the interplay of contrasting tastes and textures.
Raw radicchio can sometimes be intimidatingly bitter on its own so it’s best to pair it with other strong flavors to balance it out. In this salad roasted pears and radicchio complement each other, the sweetness of the fruit taming the naturally bitter edge of the radicchio. Refreshingly sweet and crisp shavings of fennel, toasty bits of walnuts, chewy bites of dried figs and wispy salad greens are also added for extra hits of flavor and texture.
Roasting the pears intensifies their sweetness even further as they caramelize in the heat of the oven. The process is simple, just toss the slices of ripe but firm pears with a bit of fig jam and olive oil and pop them in the oven until tender and golden. The dressing is easy as well; just a basic white wine vinaigrette blended with a little more fig jam to pull all the flavors together.
Toss it all together and you have yourself a salad that’s sure to brighten up any winter day.
More winter salads:
- Roasted Broccoli, Kale and Cauliflower Sheet Pan Salad
- Sesame Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Roasted Root Vegetable Kale Salad with Creamy Turmeric Dressing
Crunchy, sweet and pleasantly bitter, this roasted pear and radicchio salad is sure to brighten up any winter day.
For the Roasted Pears:
- 2 ripe but firm Bosc pears, cored and thickly sliced
- 1 teaspoon naturally sweetened fig jam
- 1 Tablespoon/15ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛th teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1 ½ Tablespoon/22ml white wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons/45ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons/10ml naturally sweetened fig jam
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 small head of radicchio, washed and chopped
- ½ a large fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin
- 2oz/60g mixed salad greens (like baby kale, baby spinach and pea shoots)
- ¼ cup/30g walnuts, raw or lightly toasted if desired
- 6/40g dried figs, cut into quarters
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the pears in jam and olive oil and spread on baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until pears are tender. Set aside until ready to make salad.
- Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, fig jam, salt and pepper.
- Add radicchio, fennel and salad greens to a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat, and gently toss to combine (reserve any remaining vinaigrette in fridge). Pour salad onto serving platter, top with roasted pears, walnuts and figs. Serve immediately.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 339mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.