Even the simplest of green salads can be enhanced with a few good toppings. This pear salad with blood orange vinaigrette is loaded with fresh flavors and tons of nutrients, making it both tasty and healthy!
This recipe uses the Bosc pear, a variety cultivated from pears grown in France. It features a longer, more tapered neck than other varieties and a distinctive cinnamon-brown color.
The Bosc has a denser flesh, too, which makes it ideal for baking, poaching and eating raw for those who prefer a crisp bite.
Bosc pears are in season between September and April in the U.S. To select, gently squeeze the necks of the pears between your thumb and forefinger to see if they give slightly. Also look for slight wrinkling around the stem as a sign of ripeness. If they’re not quite ready, just let the pears stand at room temperature on your counter until they reach their peak.
Next, add segments of juicy blood oranges to the salad. The blood orange is a hybrid variety that features a distinctive blood-colored flesh. It develops this color when the fruit ripens at low temperatures on the tree at night. The skin can be tougher to peel than that of other oranges, but the blood orange’s distinctive raspberry-like flavor makes it well worth the effort.
Blood oranges were originally cultivated in ancient China and now grow in the U.S. between December and March.
They’re nutrition powerhouses that pack a punch of antioxidants more powerful than other oranges because of their unique color. Besides being loaded with vitamin C, the blood orange also provides almost 30 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake.
Top it all off with a sprinkling of heart-healthy hazelnuts, some creamy, crumbly goat cheese and a bright, zingy citrus dressing made with blood orange and olive oil.
This simple salad is complex in flavor and makes a great standalone dish or pairing for any meal.
Pear salad with blood orange vinaigrette
Serves 2 servings
- Zest of 2 blood oranges
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups mixed greens (arugula, spinach and radish greens)
- 1 Bosc pear, skin on and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 blood orange segments
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- In small bowl, place blood orange zest, blood orange juice, sugar and olive oil; whisk until well blended.
- In large serving bowl, place mixed greens.
- Add pear, blood orange segments and hazelnuts.
- Just before serving, toss vinaigrette into salad and mix well.
- Add goat cheese crumbles.
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