Autumn is here, resplendent in all of her vibrant colors, and with it, pear season. Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad is the perfect way to celebrate the bounty of fall.
Using seasonal ingredients for inspiration is a great way to create easy and elegant dishes, such as Charred Fall Romaine Salad. It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients or steps to allow season’s peak ingredients to shine.
Whether you are stopping by your local farmer’s market or grocery store, it doesn’t take much to create Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad. Using seasoning ingredients and pantry staples for the bright and tangy maple vinaigrette, this dish is as easy to shop for as it is delicious.
- Fennel – This member of the carrot family has a naturally sweet flavor similar to licorice or anise. The bulb of the vegetable is roasted for this recipe while the delicate fronds are used for garnish.
- Red Anjou Pears – These medium egg-shaped pears are ideal for both raw recipes and cooked recipes. It has a mild and sweet flavor and white flesh.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is used to help roast the fennel and pears, and also in the maple vinaigrette. The higher the quality the olive oil, the richer the flavor.
- Salt and Pepper – Used to season both the pears and fennel as well as the vinaigrette.
- Walnuts – Adds richness, texture, and crunch to every bite.
- Red Wine Vinegar – This tangy and bright vinegar adds pop to the naturally sweet fennel and pears.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds a sharp tang to the vinaigrette while also helping to emulsify it and give it a luxurious texture.
- Maple Syrup – Maple syrup adds sweetness to the vinaigrette that balances the tangy flavors while also accenting the natural sweetness of the produce in the salad.
How to Make Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad
This elegant salad combines easy roasted vegetables with a quick vinaigrette. While it’s delicious warm straight from the oven it’s just as good cold or room temperature.
Time needed: 30 minutes
All you need is a sheet pan and 30 minutes for this fall inspired salad recipe.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your pears into 8 pieces and your fennel bulb into quarters. Reserve some of the fronds.
Arrange your pears and fennel on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Make sure they are thoroughly coated.
Roast the fennel and pears for 15-20 minutes, or until they are fork tender but still have their shape.
Whisk together your ingredients for the maple vinaigrette. You can also use a milk frother or food processor.
Spread the dressing onto a plate. Arrange the pears and fennel on top. Garnish with walnuts and fennel fronds.
While the color, texture, and flavor of red Anjou pears is perfect for this dish, you can substitute with your favorite variety of pear. You want to pick one that is suited to roasted so it maintains its shape.
The vinaigrette for this dressing is easy to whisk together. However, to help it emulsify even more into a thick silky texture, using a milk frother or food processor will help it all come together faster. If using a food processor drizzle in the olive oil from the top with the food processor running.
This salad can be served at any temperature. You can roast the pears and fennel ahead of time as well as make the dressing. Store separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to plate the salad. Allow the salad dressing to sit out and come to room temperature as the olive oil may slightly harden.
Top Tip for Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad
You want to pick pears that are ripe, but not overly ripe for this roasted salad. You know a pear is ready to use when you can press down on its top and it has give, but isn’t overly soft.
Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 whisk, milk frother, or food processor
Fennel and Pear Salad
- 1 fennel bulb
- 3 Red Anjou pears
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 handful walnuts, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the fennel bulb into quarters. Reserve some of the fronds for garnish.
- Cut the pears into 8 pieces.
- Arrange the fennel and pears on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to make sure they are thoroughly coated.
- Roast the fennel and pears for 15-20 minutes until they are fork tender but still have their shape.
- While the pears and fennel are roasting make your dressing. Use a whisk to whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. You can also use a milk frother or food processor to help emulsify it.
- Spread the dressing onto a plate.
- Arrange the pears and fennel on top of the dressing.
- Garnish with walnut and reserved fennel fronds.