Grilled Pear Salad

David Dial | Spiced Blog
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This grilled pear salad is one wicked way to get your salad greens in! With pears, pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, and spicy arugula, it's a sure winner.

Grilled Pear Salad Photo

Me: “Hello, Summer, it’s nice to meet you! I didn’t think Old Man Winter was ever going to move out this year.”

Summer: “It’s nice to be back. Now you should get out your grill and enjoy this weather!”

Well, who am I to argue with Summer? Seriously, though, I’m loving this weather. Yes, it may be September, but I have done everything I can to enjoy every drop of summer this year.

As an upstate New Yorker, I had the pleasure of seeing a lot of snow this past winter. Snow that covered my driveway, my yard… and my grill. All summer long I’ve been making up for lost time with all sorts of tasty meals on the grill. (These Italian meatball burgers definitely scored a 10 in my book!)

Grilled Pear Salad Picture

Aside from the traditional grill fare, I’ve also found some fun and unique ways to use my grill this summer, like this amazing grilled pear salad with Gorgonzola, arugula and pecans!

Every year, my wife and I plant a garden in the backyard. It’s not a huge garden, but it’s plenty big enough for the two of us. A couple of years ago, I used the wood from our old deck and turned it into 4 raised beds in the corner of the yard. It worked great!

Living way up North, we don’t have a very long growing season, so we have to make the most of it. Come mid-May, we’re out in the garden getting those plants and seeds in the ground so that we can enjoy beans, peppers, peas, and tomatoes by mid-Summer.

But this year, the strangest thing happened. I was out in the garden weeding and getting it ready for another round of planting when I noticed a bunch of little green shoots coming up in one of the beds. At first I thought they were weeds, but when I looked a little closer, I realized it was arugula (also known as rocket).

Bed of Arugula Photo

We had planted arugula last year, and it came back all on its own! I didn’t even know arugula would come back, especially after that crazy long winter. But I was wrong! Now I have a whole bed of arugula. I seriously think I have enough for the whole neighborhood, and then some. I started thinking about how to use all of this arugula, and that’s how this salad was born.

If you’ve never grilled fruit, then you are in for a treat! The natural sugars in the sliced pears caramelized when placed on the hot grill, and the result was just plain delicious. I think these pears could be a dessert by themselves, but I chose to put them on top of an arugula salad.

Grilled Pear Salad Image

The peppery arugula and strong flavors from the gorgonzola cheese really came together nicely. Top this salad off with a simple honey balsamic dressing, and you’ve got a fun and tasty summer meal.

With all of the arugula in our garden, I suspect my wife and I will be enjoying these salads for many meals to come!

And next time, we might just try grilled pineapple, like Mary Kay served up in this grilled pork loin and pineapple supper

Grilled Pear Salad Recipe

    4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Salad:
  • 2 medium Pears, Ripe
  • 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 6 cups Arugula
  • 2/3 cup Pecans, Halved
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2/3 cup Gorgonzola Cheese, Crumbled
For the Honey Balsamic Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Slice pears width-wise into rings about 1/2" - 3/4" thick. Remove the seeds.
  3. Brush pear slices with canola oil and place on grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, or until noticeable grill marks form.
  4. Meanwhile, place pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5-6 minutes, or until you can just begin to smell them. (Tip: Watch pecans closely as you toast them. They can burn quickly!)
  5. Divide the arugula into 4 equal-sized portions. Top with toasted pecans, dried cranberries, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and warm grilled pear slices.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, orange juice, brown mustard, salt and pepper until well combined.
  7. Drizzle salad with honey balsamic dressing.

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David Dial

About David

David is bringing up the guy quotient here on Food Fanatic, representing all things Grilling in a big way. On his own site, Spiced, David covers every kind of culinary adventure.