top of page
  • Writer's pictureitslaurenofcourse

Roasted Pear Salad with Dandelion Greens, Parmesan, Toasted Hazelnuts, & Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

This sophisticated salad is a fall/winter favorite, as beautiful as it is delicious!

Roasted Pear Salad with Dandelion Greens, Parmesan, Hazelnuts, & Maple-White Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you're looking for a seasonal, show-stopping salad that's as perfect for a quick weeknight supper as it is for crowd at a holiday buffet, you're in the right place. A platter of roasted pears drizzled with nuts, cheese, and vinaigrette atop a bed of dressed dandelion greens is just the thing to make when the air turns crisp. Under-ripe, firm pears are the best for roasting because they hold their shape and sweeten and soften as they roast. Dandelion greens are seasonal, beautiful, nutritious, and bitter, the perfect counterpoint to a roasted pear. Parmesan is salty and subtle, the ideal accompaniment to the sweet pears and bitter greens, but chèvre, feta, or manchego would work wonderfully, too. Toasted hazelnuts and a maple-balsamic vinaigrette round out the dish with some buttery, sweet, acidic, and seasonal notes.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; peeler; melon baller; rimmed sheet pan; mixing bowl; measuring spoons; dry and wet measuring cups; spatula; tongs

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ cup olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

4 firm Bosc pears

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 bunches dandelion greens, coarsely chopped

¼ cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

¼ cup Parmesan shavings

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. First, roast the pears. Drizzle the olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan and sprinkle with kosher salt. Halve the pears lengthwise, leaving the stems attached if possible. Using the larger scoop of a melon baller, remove and discard the seeds. Place the pear halves flesh side-down on the seasoned sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and the flesh is caramelized. Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool.

"Slicing the pears in half while keeping the stems on one side - as well as using a melon baller to remove the seeds - makes for a beautiful presentation. It's all about technique, not torture!"

3. While the pears roast, prepare the vinaigrette. Pour the vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and mustard to the vinegar, then blend with a whisk. Slowly add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture, a bit at a time, as you whisk vigorously to emulsify. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

ILOC tip: if you cannot find dandelion greens, use another bitter lettuce like arugula or mizuna.

4. Remove the vinaigrette from the mixing bowl and pour into a smaller vessel or cup. Add the dandelion greens to the mixing bowl and drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette. Place the pears atop the dressed greens and drizzle with more dressing. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and Parmesan shavings.

"Whether creamy and thick, or juicy and thin, salad dressing should be used sparingly - just enough to coat lightly each component of the salad. Think of dressing as wet seasoning for your greens. Every item should be evenly and lightly coated."

5. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

215 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page