This arugula pear salad with pistachios and pomegranate seeds is a satisfying winter salad or side dish that’s ready in mere minutes. It’s a sweet and colorful winter recipe with a delightful snap and crunch. It’s Whole30 and vegan, and will please just about every palate you need to feed.
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 remain completely sated. Anywhere from a third to half of my meals on a Whole30 are vegetarian, or mostly so (I’m not really counting eggs and bone broth, the latter of which can always be subbed for vegetable stock). I rock the soup and salad bar, y’all.
This arugula pear salad is one such side dish that’s going to feed me so well all month long. Need some further inspiration? Check out my Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Salad, Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup, Tarragon Pesto over Zoodles, or Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup, plus loads more in the Vegan and Whole30 archives. Still need more? 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 Recipe Notes
The key to creating a Whole30 vegetarian meal or side dish that’s going to keep you full and happy is fat – mostly from nuts, avocados, and/or healthy oils. This ridiculously easy arugula pear salad with pistachios and pomegranate was a solid staple in my lunch menu this week. It’s full of colorful, seasonal produce with a subtle sweetness and a delightful snap n’ crunch. A healthy punch of pistachios and olive oil make it rich. It takes only minutes to throw together, and pairs perfectly with a simple soup.
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.
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 use bosc, because it’s Cam’s favorite. I sliced them thinly and place them around the salad after it’s been dressed for a pretty presentation.
The magic in almost any salad is the dressing, especially one as simple as an arugula pear salad with only four base ingredients. This is my go-to champagne mustard vinaigrette with champagne vinegar, whole grain mustard, olive oil, salt and a pepper. 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.
Pack this salad for an easy lunch side dish (just keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to dive in), have it as a companion to a hearty soup for dinner, toss in some chicken if you’re dying for extra protein…lots of options!
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Arugula Pear Salad with Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds
This arugula pear salad with pistachios and pomegranate seeds is a satisfying winter salad or side dish that's ready in mere minutes. It's a sweet and colorful winter recipe that's Whole30 and Vegan.
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.
Be sure to select a whole grain mustard that is sugar and additive free so that your dressing remains Whole30 compliant.
This salad is delicious with grilled chicken or shredded pork for a punch of protein.