Have you tried Asian pears? They’re amazing. Sometimes called “apple pears,” they’re small apple shaped pears. A good one has the crunch of an apple, but the juiciness and flavor of a pear. They’re so incredible. We’ve seen them more available in our markets lately, so we’ve been scooping them up every week we can get our hands on them. I love them sliced for a snack or side, but I’ve also been tossing them into salads.
This combination is my favorite. The creaminess of the avocado, a bit of protein from chicken (if you like), the sweetness of the dried cherries, depth from the hazelnuts, and a bit of brightness from the pomegranate. The dressing is as simple as it gets–just a bit of balsamic and olive oil, with a bit of honey (if you like).
As is always the case with salad, these ingredients are flexible. Skip the avocado if you don’t like it. Using this as a main dish? Bump up the chicken. Vegan or doing a Whole30? Skip the drizzle of honey. If you can’t find Asian pears, ripe apples or pears would work perfectly well in this recipe.
It would also make a stunning Thanksgiving salad. Pomegranate seeds tend to have that beautiful effect. But it would also be a great meal for the day AFTER Thanksgiving, when you’re ready for something that doesn’t involve stuffing or sugar or marshmallows.
Delicious, beautiful, and simple. Everything a salad should be. I hope you love it like I do!
P.S. Need help with your pomegranate? Check out this step-by-step tutorial for how to seed a pomegranate.
- 3-4 cups salad greens or spinach
- ½-1 avocado, (peel and pit removed) diced or sliced
- 1 Asian pear, (cored) sliced or diced
- ½-3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼-1/3 cup dried tart cherries (or dried cranberries, blueberries, or raisins)
- ½ cup toasted hazelnuts (almonds, or pecans)
- Optional: cooked and shredded chicken
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a drizzle of honey, as desired (omit for vegan or Whole30)
- Toss together the salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and honey, if using. Toss salad in dressing and serve immediately.