This arugula pear salad with pistachios and pomegranate seeds is a satisfying winter salad that’s ready in mere minutes. It’s a sweet and colorful side dish with a delightful snap and crunch. It’s Whole30 and vegan, and will please just about every palate you need to feed.
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It. is. cold. So very, very cold. And to be honest, I feel a bit ridiculous posting a salad recipe when the mercury is this low, but salads make me so happy. They also remind me of summer, and I think we could all use some warming thoughts right about now, yes?
One of the reservations I hear from friends considering a Whole30 is “I can’t possibly eat that much meat”. This is a legit concern. When you can’t have grains and legumes, the next best source for a satisfying meal (not to mention protein) seems to be meat.
But doing a Whole30 doesn’t mean you have to literally go whole hog. I’m not suggesting you do a vegan round, mostly because I, for one, would not survive (yes, I acknowledge there are lots of people who live happily and healthily doing so…but I am just not one of them).
I will say from my own personal experience that it’s totally possible not to consume flesh at every meal on one’s Whole30 journey and still remain completely sated. How so? I rock the soup and salad bar, y’all.
The key to creating a meat-free Whole30 meal that’s going to keep you full and happy is fat – typically from nuts, avocados, and/or healthy oils, and those are all found in abundance in this arugula pear salad.
This salad is the perfect addition to your fall or winter menu rotation. It’s ready in just a few minutes, so it’s the perfect add-to to lunch or dinner. It’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, and pretty darn filling thanks to pistachios and healthy fats in the dressing. And it’s pretty! So pretty.
How to Make Arugula Pear Salad
This ridiculously easy arugula pear salad with pistachios and pomegranate is full of colorful, seasonal produce with a subtle sweetness and a delightful snap n’ crunch. A healthy punch of nuts and olive oil make it rich and satisfying. It takes only minutes to throw together, and pairs perfectly with a simple soup.
First things first – whisk up some vinaigrette. Combine whole grain mustard with champagne vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. Stupid easy.
A word of warning – many (if not most) whole grain mustards contain sugar. UGH. Read your labels and select a brand that’s sugar and additive free if you’re on a Whole30 or trying to mind your sugar intake.
Combine fresh baby arugula with roasted salted pistachios and pomegranate seeds in a salad bowl. Pour half the vinaigrette over the base, and toss until all of the ingredients are well combined.
I used arugula as my salad base, but this would be equally tasty over a bed of spinach, or any combination of winter greens – baby chard, endive, frisee, etc. Bitter greens are especially nice contrast to the sweet pears and pomegranates.
I love pistachios for this salad, and I always have them on hand because my kid goes nuts for them (I’m done with the puns, I swear!). If you don’t have roasted, salted pistachios in your pantry, feel free to sub any nut of your choice – walnuts, pecans, and slivered almonds are all excellent choices. For a pop of protein, toss in some roasted salted pepitas.
Portion the salad onto plates, and then nestle half a sliced pear around the dressed salad.
When it comes to selecting the perfect pear, go with any varietal you love, but select pears that are just a bit underripe. You want a ripe but firm pear that isn’t mushy. I used bosc, because it’s Cam’s favorite.
Lastly…oh wait. That’s it! You’re done. Wasn’t that easy? Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side to taste.
With a salad as simple as this one, it’s essential to use the freshest and best quality ingredients you can find. Go ahead and use the fancy olive oil (yeah, that one). Go for the fresh cracked black pepper. Buy the fancy pears.
Pack this salad for an easy lunch side dish, have it as a companion to a hearty soup for dinner, or toss in some chicken if you’re dying for extra protein…lots of options for enjoying this winter seasonal delight!
Dietary Accommodations and Variations
- Naturally vegan and Whole30
- Dairy free and gluten free
- Spice up or tone down the greens by substituting a third to half of the arugula with baby spinach, endive, or frisee
- Use walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds in place of the pistachios
- Make it nut free by substituting roasted salted pepitas for the pistachios
- If you’re not rocking a Whole30 or vegan diet and need cheese, add crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese
More Meat-free Whole30 Recipes
- Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup
- Tarragon Pesto over Zoodles with Burst Tomatoes
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup,
- Check out this terrific round of up paleo recipes that just happen to be vegan from I Heart Vegetables.
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Arugula Pear Salad with Pistachios and Pomegranate SeedsPrint Recipe Rate This Recipe
Arugula Pear Salad
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 1/2 c pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 c roasted salted pistachios
- 2 whole pears thinly sliced
Champagne Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 c unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together the whole grain mustard, champagne vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking. Continue to whisk vigorously until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the baby arugula, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios. Pour in half the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
- Divide the base salad between four plates, and place half a sliced pear on each salad bed. Top with additional cracked black pepper to taste, and serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Serve immediately.