Perfectly Poached Pear Salad

Poached pears as a Christmas salad: festive and tasty!

Pears, cranberries, pecans and YUM

Perfectly poached pears! I’m still deciding on our Christmas Day salad but this is a front runner. Poached pears, dried cranberries, candied pecans and romaine in an tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Feels festive and is really yummy!

Many of you have asked what’s on our Christmas menu. Our family has so many food traditions but Christmas is the biggest one. Think classic Italian! It starts with the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve and continues Christmas Day with a full antipasto, followed by lasagna, meatballs, sausage and a big salad. It’s pretty much the same each year with a few additions here and there.

To stray too far is to risk being disowned LOL! But seriously, this is Christmas in my family. It’s tradition, adapted to be gluten-free and it’s a real treat! I hope to be able to get all our holiday dishes online!

Scroll down to see the recipe.

Perfectly Poached Pear Salad


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Perfectly Poached Pear Salad
Poached pears, dried cranberries, candied pecans and romaine in an tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Feels festive and is really yummy!
  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Optional additions:
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon half
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • 6-8 fresh ginger slices
  • 7 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp shallot
  • ¾ tsp mayo or vegan mayo
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
CANDIED PECANS !Adapted from Minimalist Baker
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Generous Pinch of cinnamon
  • Generous Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • optional: Pinch cayenne pepper
5oz container of romaine or mixed greens (could use more lettuce if ok with less toppings)
¼- ½ cup Dried Cranberries, pending tastes
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 quart water & sugar until sugar is dissolved. (Add any of the additional ingredients if you wish.)_
  2. Add pears & cover with a round of parchment paper, w/ a small hole cut in the center.
  3. Keep the liquid at a very low boil, simmer pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 mins.
  4. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the liquid.
  5. OPTIONAL: After poaching the pears, while the liquid is still warm, add ½ cup dried cranberries and let them plump.
  1. Whisk together oil, sugar, syrup, salt, and spices.
  2. In an oven preheated to 350°, toast pecans on a cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, toss and combine with sugar mixture directly on the cookie sheet.
  4. Return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Cool.
  1. In a small bowl whisk all ingredients together. Set Aside.
  1. Mix lettuce with some vinaigrette. Top with pears, pecans, and cranberries then mix more vinaigrette to taste, and garnish with pomegranates.

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