Enjoy fall like you mean it this year! Pull out all the stops with this gorgeous Autumn Pear Salad with Figs & Ginger Molasses Vinaigrette. I am not a cool weather girl, but one of the things I love about fall is the rich, earthy flavors that come to life in its foods. And there is nothing but forkful after forkful of flavor in this fall fest. Dark greens, crisp pears, rich figs, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, bacon, walnuts and cool bleu cheese make this more than salad. It’s near autumn perfection. It can stand on its own as meal with warm, thick-crusted bread or serve as the perfect side to that bowl of soup, pork tenderloin or turkey. Need a fabulous dish for your get-together. Look no further. Seasonal eating doesn’t get any better than this.
What You Need to Make this Autumn Pear Salad & Vinaigrette
- Mixed Greens
- Dried Cranberries
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Bacon Pieces
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Coarse Grain Dijon Mustard
- Garlic, Salt, Pepper
During the busy week, this is one of those salads that The Engineer and I can eat as a meal. I might swing by the grocery and pick up a rotisserie chicken and a loaf of crusty bread, and in just 15 minutes or so we get to feel so fancy without a lot of work. And why not? Just because it’s a quick weeknight meal, it doesn’t have to feel like it. Even a Tuesday needs to be special now and then.
I get all the ingredients out and slice the pears while he warms the breads and toasts the pumpkin seeds. We use the pumpkin seeds without hulls called pepitas for this salad. They are easy to toast. Just toss in a little olive oil, spread into a single layer on a baking sheet, and they are golden brown in just a little more than 10 minutes. Time enough to get the table set and the salad tossed.
And don’t forget the vinaigrette. It also comes together in just minutes while those pepitas are toasting with loads of fall flavors and just a little kick to keep things spicy around here. Molasses, ginger, garlic and sprinkle of red pepper flakes marry with olive oil and apple cider vinegar to create a vinaigrette that is lighter than you might think while adding a whole other layer of tangy richness to this Autumn Pear Salad.
There are a lot of ways to enjoy fall, but none quite beat a celebration of the season like this. Gorgeous, rich flavors. Just a little fancy. But oh, so easy.
Seasonal Accessories to Serve This Salad & Make Your Table Fall Ready
The perfect autumn salad with pears, figs, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, carrots, bacon and mixed greens. Dressed with a ginger molasses vinaigrette, this salad is a perfect way to celebrate fall.
- 5 oz mixed greens washed, stems removed
- 2 green d'anjou pears sliced thinly
- 1/2 C figs (dried or fresh) sliced
- 1/2 C dried cranberries
- 1/2 C shredded carrots
- 1/2 C bacon pieces
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts
- 1/4 C pumpkin seeds without hulls (pepitas) toasted
- 1/4 C bleu cheese crumbles
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss pumpkin seeds in 2 tsp olive oil. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 min. or until golden brown.
While the pumpkin seeds are toasting, core and slice pears. Add pears and the rest of the salad ingredients to the greens.
Remove pumpkin seeds from the oven and cool while making vinaigrette.
Add all vinaigrette ingredients to emulsifying shaker and shake or to small bowl and use emulsifier or hand mixer to mix until all ingredients are well blended.
Add toasted pumpkin seeds and desired amount of vinaigrette to salad. Toss until salad is well coated and serve.
Vinaigrette will separate after sitting. Shake or remix before using again.