This easy Arugula Salad with Pears, Apples, Cashews, and homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette takes only 30 minutes to make. It's a perfect salad to have with your weeknight dinner or to make for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack. Bring it with you to picnics, potlucks, and BBQ parties!
Simple 30-minute salad
This arugula salad with pears is incredibly easy to make, yet it creates a stunning presentation with minimal effort. The recipe requires only 7 ingredients and takes just 30 minutes to make!
It's one of those salads that you can easily prepare to accompany your main course without getting too distracted. It's simple enough to serve with your weeknight dinner or to make it for lunch and snack. At the same time, the salad looks sophisticated enough to share with your friends at parties, picnics, and potlucks.
If you like the simplicity of this salad, you might also enjoy this easy cranberry spinach salad with cashews and goat cheese or a delicious simple spinach salad with parmesan and pine nuts.
Arugula and pears
Arugula with its spicy and peppery flavor pairs beautifully with sweet fruit, such as pears.
- I have also included apples and dried cranberries - both add even more texture and sweetness to the salad.
- For a bit of crunch, I topped the arugula salad with toasted cashews.
- The salad dressing is made with only 2 ingredients: olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Be sure to use high-quality olive oil and high-quality balsamic vinegar (below I provide more details on how to choose the best). Just whisk those 2 ingredients together until emulsified and drizzle over the salad.
In the end, it's a flavorful and colorful salad packed with healthy ingredients and made completely from scratch!
What is arugula?
- Leaf vegetable. Arugula is an amazing leaf vegetable that should be in your salads on a regular basis. It has a peppery, almost mustardy flavor that is a bit spicy and very delicious. Arugula is also often called rocket, rucola, or roquette.
- Nutrition. Arugula is an excellent source of many vitamins, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folate. It also contains dietary minerals, such as magnesium and calcium.
- How to use arugula. Arugula is most often used in different kinds of salads, as well as a topping for pizzas. A very popular way to use arugula is in a salad with tomatoes and burrata cheese.
- Greens. If you find the taste of arugula too strong, you can easily replace it with baby spinach, or even kale.
- Fresh Fruit. This salad works well with all kinds of apples, pears, and even mango. I used Asian pear and Gala apple in this recipe. Fuji apple is my other favorite. Any type of pears and apples will work here.
- Nuts. Cashews add a nice crunch and subtle sweetness to the salad. Toast the cashews for 10 minutes at 350 F in the preheated oven, watching carefully to make sure the nuts don't burn. You can also use pecans or walnuts.
- Dried Fruit. Dried cherries or chopped dried figs can be used in place of dried cranberries. Dried blueberries or raisins work well, too.
How to store it
Store leftover arugula and pear salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a day or two, but no longer. Storing the salad will wilt the leaves, and the sliced pears and apples will brown. However, the salad will still be quite tasty. Tip: If you plan on refrigerating the salad for a day or two, don't add nuts. Add nuts right before serving.
- Toast the nuts. Toast the cashews in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes until the nuts acquire a beautiful golden color. Watch the oven carefully - the nuts can burn quickly.
- Soak dried cranberries in boiling water for 5 minutes to plump them up and make them juicer.
- Use high-quality olive oil. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil, labeled as first cold-pressed, packaged in a dark bottle. Such olive oil usually has a distinctive peppery or fruity taste.
- Use high-quality balsamic vinegar. I use the balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P. High-quality balsamic vinegar is not as acidic as a regular one and has a thicker texture. Balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P. is also a great choice. The syrupy texture of this type of high-quality vinegar makes it perfect as a salad dressing ingredient.
Other arugula salads
If you love the spicy and peppery taste of arugula, be sure to try these salads next:
- Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans
- Simple Arugula Salad with Parmesan and Lemon Zest
- Arugula Tomato Salad
Arugula Salad with Pears, Apples, and Cashews
- To a large bowl, add arugula, cored and diced pear, cored and diced apple, dried cranberries, and half of the toasted cashews (¼ cup).
- Chop up the remaining half (¼ cup) of toasted cashews into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, make the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together Balsamic vinegar with olive oil until emulsified.
- Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad. Sprinkle the salad with chopped toasted cashews. Note: you don't have to use the whole amount of salad dressing. Use just enough to drizzle.
- Toast cashews in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 10 or 15 minutes until the nuts acquire a beautiful golden color. Watch the oven carefully - the nuts can burn quickly.
- Soak dried cranberries in boiling water for 5 minutes to plump them up and make them juicer. Drain water well before adding the cranberries to the salad.
- Use high-quality olive oil. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil, labeled as "first cold-pressed", packaged in a dark bottle. Such olive oil usually has a distinctive peppery or fruity taste and is flavorful enough to use as a salad dressing ingredient.
- Use high-quality balsamic vinegar. I use the balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P. High-quality balsamic vinegar is not as acidic as a regular one and has a thicker texture. Balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P. is also a great choice.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.