Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad

This wonderfully autumn salad contains caramelized pears, arugula, and a vinaigrette with pomegranate and chipotle pepper. Sweet and spicy.

Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad

Pomegranates, an old fruit with a new following, appear in the market starting in November. Older varieties are ruby red, sour tart, and full of flavor. Pomegranate juice—an antioxidant par excellence—is readily available year round and serves as the base for the vinaigrette, but add some fresh pomegranate seeds to the salad if they are available. The small amount of chipotle in the dressing is not hot but gives a hint of smokiness that is wonderful with the sweet pear.–Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider

LC Where Do We Begin? Note

There’s so much going on in this salad in terms of tastes and textures, we don’t know where to begin in terms of explaining them. Best to just taste for yourself.

Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6


  • For the roasted pear and arugula salad
  • 6 smallish pears (any variety)
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 4 cups baby arugula, stemmed and washed
  • 2 cups mixed baby lettuces, with some red color, stemmed and washed
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • For the pomegranate-chipotle vinaigrette
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground dried chipotle or chipotle in adobo, or more to taste


  • For the roasted pear and arugula salad
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • 2. Core the pears from the bottom, using a small spoon or melon baller. You may peel them if you wish, but leave the stem intact. Brush the pears with the agave syrup and place on a rimmed a baking sheet. Bake until browned and tender, 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
  • To serve the roasted pear and arugula salad
  • 3. Meanwhile, whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together or purée them in a blender.
  • 4. In a large bowl, toss the baby arugula and lettuces with the vinaigrette and divvy it up among 6 chilled plates. Place a roasted pear on each plate and scatter some pomegranate seeds on the greens, if desired. Pass the extra vinaigrette on the side.

Salad Variations

  • Add crumbled feta or blue cheese and caramelized walnuts.
  • Substitute small apples for the pears.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

The good thing about this salad is it can easily adjust to one’s taste. Just remember that unsweetened pomegranate juice is extremely tart. I used Bosc pears, which didn’t help to balance the tartness of the vinaigrette. So I ended up added some extra sugar.

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