Here it is, the day I have looked forward to since this same day last year, the first day of fall. Today, I introduce you to a recipe that celebrates my favorite season – Harvest Pear Salad with Dijon Maple Vinaigrette.
Juicy roasted pears, tender salad greens, crispy bacon, crunchy cornbread croutons, a sprinkling of honey roasted sesame seeds, and all drizzled with Dijon Maple Vinaigrette. Harvest Pear Salad is a delectable showcase for many of this season’s best foods.
I love this salad not only for its deliciousness, but also for its versatility. It is perfect served as a side salad to Grilled Chicken Breasts, Perfect Roast Chicken, and Chicken Noodle Soup (to name a few), and hearty enough to stand on its own when served as a light meal.
I promise you, once you taste Harvest Pear Salad with Dijon Maple Vinaigrette, it will become one of your favorite salads.
I’m not a worrier, but I am a little worried now. Harvest Pear Salad with Dijon Maple Vinaigrette is so delicious and gorgeous, I can’t imagine what recipe I can use next year that will be nearly as good. It’s a darn good thing I have an entire year to plan the First Day of Fall, 2016.
Harvest Pear Salad
- For Harvest Pear Salad:
- 6 slices bacon black peppered bacon works great
- 3 ripe pears halved lengthwise (I used red Starkrimson pears, but Bosc or Red Anjou are great choices, too.)
- 2 cups corn bread cut into 1” cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups salad greens – such as: Romaine Bibb, Loose-leaf, Iceberg lettuce, Escarole, Spinach, Arugula. Any combination works well.
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds Nuts
- For Dijon Maple Vinaigrette:
- Yields ¼ cup
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried onion flakes optional
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- For Harvest Pear Salad:
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Cut bacon into lardons (cut 1/4” thick) and cook in a large skillet until chewy-crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Pour bacon drippings into a small heatproof bowl.
- Cut pears in half, lengthwise.
- Pour 2 tablespoons bacon drippings back into the skillet then place the pears, cut-side down, in the skillet.
- Place skillet with pears in the preheated oven and roast until tender, 12-15 minutes.
- While pears cook, place cubed cornbread on a large baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and leftover bacon drippings (if available.) Place pan in the oven next to the pears and toast cornbread cubes until golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
- Combine salad greens in a large bowl and season lightly with salt & pepper. Mix well.
- Serve salad greens topped with pear halves, bacon, croutons and sunflower seeds. Serve with Dijon Maple Vinaigrette. *See notes.
- For Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:
- Combine cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt & pepper. Mix until well combined. While whisking, drizzle in the canola oil and continue whisking until smooth and emulsified.
*Note – the salad can be served as individual side salads with ½ pear per salad, or as a main meal – just double the amount served.
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Platter TalkFantastic salad here, Susie. I'm not worried in the least because your photos and recipes keep getting better and better, or at least it seems. They are all top notch and this fall salad fits right in. My only regret is that I don't have this beauty in front of me right now, on this first day of autumn. It's clearly (fine) restaurant worthy but I know it would taste just perfect here at our humble little lake cottage where I'm lucky enough to be spending what also happens to be one of my favorite days of they year: the first day of fall.
Karen SwanThis looks positively scrumptious. Yea, fall...best time of the year and the seasonal food is the best. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
Becky Hardin | The Cookie RookieMom this is SO gorgeous, one of my favorite posts so far! Looks delicious...we should make this for Thanksgiving!
Janice ElksI think I'm in love, with your food of course. This salad; along with your Green Goddess, and the Spicy Honey Vinaigrette are simply wonderful. Thanks for posting!!
KatieI made this along with the buttermilk marinated chicken. Beyond wonderful! Did no and would not change a thing. Thank you!!!! Love your blog.