Arugula, Pears + Candied Walnut Salad

May 13, 2013

Growing up my mom was always the cook, so on Mother's Day I love to cook her dinner for a change. This year, I tried out a new salad recipe using pears, arugula, parmesan cheese, candied walnuts and a simple vinaigrette with salt and pepper. I was a little nervous that the flavors wouldn't mix, but it turned out to be delicious and a new favorite!

1 package arugula
1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe below)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp scallions
2 pears*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon

*I also learned how to tell if a pear if ripe or not. Have you ever wondered how to tell? You test the area around the stem of the pear and if it gives the pear is ripe.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15-20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins max

One of the skills that is most important to refine when cooking is how long each piece of a meal will take, so you can time everything to be ready at once. To plan this side dish with a main dish cook the candied walnuts first, and then lay them to the side while cooking the main dish.

Candied Walnuts Recipe: I referenced Simply Recipes's Candied Walnuts Recipe, and reduced the recipe ingredient amounts for 1/2 cup of walnuts. You will need 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup walnut halves. I didn't use salt since it would already be in the dressing.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, lay walnuts on a baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes. Pour sugar into a saucepan with walnuts close by. You need to be sure they are close because the process is really quick and you'll have to be careful not to burn the sugar. Stir sugar until it melts and as soon as the mixture is amber in color add the walnuts and stir. Once all walnuts are coated (will be a matter of stirs), remove the walnuts and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Make sure to break the walnuts apart before the sugar cools. Set aide and cook.

Next, peel and cut the pears into cubes (about 5 mins), and thinly chop the scallions into small pieces. Hand squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and remove the seeds. Once the main dish was ready, add arugula, pears, candied walnuts and scallions to a large salad bowl. Then use a fruit peeler to add shaved thin pieces of parmesan. Next, drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and add salt and pepper. Toss and serve.


  1. Last night I made a wilted spinach salad with warm bacon dressing! I think it would have tasted better with those candied walnuts!

    1. You should try them! They are really fast and not too hard to make. You just have to watch the sugar closely.

  2. Ok, your salad kicks my salad's butt! I do the same exact salad all the time minus the pears and candied walnuts! I will need to throw some in the mix next time cause this looks amazing!

    Holly Foxen Wells

    1. Aw you're too sweet! I hope you do try it. I promise it's delicious!!


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