When the days are cold and snowy, I crave soups, stews and casseroles. But during the holidays, you may want to serve something festive, and that’s where this Christmas Pear Salad comes to save the day.
Your family and friends will love the festive colors and winter flavors in this pear and pomegranate salad with homemade poppy seed dressing. It makes a great side dish for any holiday dinner.
About this Christmas Pear Salad Recipe:
Flavor: The pears, pomegranate and candied pecans are sweet, which pair nicely with the tangy dressing and red onions.
Texture: I love a salad with a crunch, and this salad is loaded with just that…crisp cucumbers and crunchy pecans. But the creamy feta and poppy seed dressing balance the crunch.
What kind of pear is good for salad?
When I made this salad, the types of pears available in my grocery store were Bosc and Anjou pears. I used both types and they worked perfectly. Bartlett pears are delicious as well.
how can you tell if a pear is ripe?
I find that pears are a little like avocados. They take awhile to get ripe, then they can turn overripe very quickly.
You can’t look at the outside color to decipher if it is ripe. Instead, press gently at the top thin part of the pear where the stem is. If it gives slightly to the touch, it is ripe. Pears should be soft inside and not at all hard.
I wanted to focus on the colors of red and green, but also bring in some fun holiday treats like candied pecans. Here are the ingredients you need:
Spring lettuce. Any lettuce will work. But the soft texture and mild flavor of spring lettuce mix is my favorite base to a pretty salad.
Pears. The pears should be ripe, and they are best on the salad if they are very thinly sliced. Need to know how to slice a pear? Here’s a tutorial on how to cut a pear.
Pomegranate Arils. The arils are the pomegranate seeds you can buy in the store. I buy the fresh arils in the cups so that I keep the recipe easy, but buy a whole pomegranate if you’d like.
Red Onion. If you think red onion is too strong, use a sweet, white onion.
Candied Pecans. You can buy candied pecans, but if you have time, make our cinnamon sugar roasted pecans.
Feta Cheese. Feta works well because it adds a creaminess to the salad. Goat cheese or blue cheese would work as well.
Sweet & Tangy Poppy Dressing Recipe
This poppy seed dressing recipe is similar to store bought poppy seed dressings. It is creamy and white, with those little poppy seeds specks. It has a sweet and tangy flavor and pairs well with lettuce salads with fruit in them.
To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a pint size mason jar. Tighten a lid to the top and shake it up. Or you can simply whisk the ingredients in a small bowl.
How to Make Salad Look Pretty
Although salads are often served in large bowls, if I want a salad to look pretty I use a large serving platter.
Spread out the lettuce over the whole platter, then add the vegetables in pretty little piles. You can fan out slices of cucumber, pears or even avocado. Layer the toppings on the bed of lettuce rather than tossing the ingredients together.
This salad has a lot of different sizes, shapes and textures, even in the spring lettuce. That’s what makes it pretty.
If you don’t like pecans, use any other type of nuts. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would work as well.
I considered adding dried cranberries to the salad, but I didn’t have them. It didn’t need them, but it would add a bit more texture to the salad.
Don’t want a mayo based dressing? Try your favorite sweet and tangy vinaigrette.
Serve with a protein such as sliced grilled chicken or salmon.
Christmas Pear Salad
4.41 from 5 votes
This Christmas Pear Salad with pomegranate and candied pecans is perfect for the holidays. Drizzle with our homemade poppy seed dressing.
Spread the spring lettuce on a large platter. Or place it in a bowl.
Arrange the pears, pomegranate, red onion, cucumbers and sugared pecans on top.
Then sprinkle feta over the salad.
In a small bowl or mason jar, add the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk or shake until the ingredients are well combined.
Then drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immeditely.
A note about the dressing: If you're allowing people to add their own dressing, you may want to double the recipe. It makes a small amount, but it also doesn't keep well.
*There is no olive oil in the dressing mixture because of the mayo. It’s not needed.Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the salad serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the salad. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**