Rocket and Pear Salad

This Rocket and Pear Salad is made with rocket (aka arugula), crisp pears, crunchy toasted walnuts, and shaved Parmesan. It’s a simple salad you can put together in about 15 minutes.

Read on to learn all the best pears for salads and tips and tricks for this arugula salad recipe. Or just grab your pear and rocket, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a rocket salad with pear, walnut, and Parmesan!

rocket pear salad with toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan in a small wood salad bowl.
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Ingredients

arugula, bowl of vinaigrette, comice pear, Parmesan, and walnuts in a measuring cup.

 

Composing a salad isn’t complicated, although it can be complicated if you like. Salads in my house can be a challenge, because I like a simple salad like this Caprese salad with burrata and peaches and Mr. Ugly Duckling Bakery wants a kitchen sink salad like this rainbow salad.

This arugula salad leans towards the simple with:

  • rocket (also rucola or arugula) – use the smaller, more tender rocket leaves in salads and save larger leaves for an arugula pesto. Feel free to buy pre-washed rocket for convenience.
  • pear – pick a crisp, sweet pear that’s just barely ripe. I particularly like comice pears for salads, or Asian pears also work well. Estimate a quarter pear per person.
  • walnuts – whether in a salad or baking in a walnut cake, toasting nuts adds crunch and brings out their nutty flavor. Sub in candied nuts if you want a bit more sweetness.
  • Parmesan – Parmesan shavings work best but you can sub in shredded Parm.
  • vinaigrette – use the recipe below or any light vinaigrette. This cherry vinaigrette could be delightful with arugula.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Sub in apple for a rocket and apple salad.
  • Omit the walnuts and use almonds or pecans.
  • Change out the Parmesan and use brie or gorgonzola.
  • Add protein like pan-roasted chicken or pulled duck breast for a duck and pear salad.

Recipe tips and tricks

Like with the kale in kale salads, rocket benefits from a toss in vinaigrette to soften up the leaves. Fifteen to 30 minutes should be enough.

arugula leaves covered in vinaigrette in a metal bowl with tongs.

Make some Parmesan shavings. You may be able to do this on a box grater, but I find it easiest to use a vegetable peeler. Note this also works great on bar chocolate to get chocolate curls for decorating the top of a cake like my Tiramisu cake!

making Parmesan curls with a block of Parmesan and vegetable peeler.

Put it all together in a large serving bowl or individual salad plates.

wooden salad bowl filled with arugula, pear, qwalnuts, and Parmesan shavings.

Recipe FAQs

How do I toast walnuts?

Heat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for five to ten minutes or until they start to smell, well, nutty.

Can I make a rocket salad ahead of time?

It’s best to compose your rocket salad just before serving to prevent the arugula from wilting. However, you can prepare the parts in advance and assemble them before serving.

How do I prevent pears from browning?

If you are preparing this rocket pear salad ahead of time, put some lemon juice and an equal amount of water in a bowl like for these dried apple rings. Dip the pear slices in this solution to prevent browning.

Check out all the Ugly Duckling Bakery side dishes for other delicious salad recipes like:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Rocket Pear Salad

5 from 1 vote
Category: Salad
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 255kcal
This Rocket and Pear Salad is made with rocket or arugula, crisp pears, crunchy toasted walnuts, and shaved Parmesan. It's a simple salad you can put together in 15 minutes. Serve your rocket pear salad in Fall with simple roasts. It's the perfect salad for Thanksgiving dinner.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Lemon vinaigrette

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Rocket pear salad

  • 4 cups rocket also called rucola or arugula
  • 1 barely ripe pear suggested: Comice
  • 2 ounces Parmesan
  • cup walnuts toasted and cooled

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the lemon vinaigrette in a clean glass jar and shake hard to emulsify.
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 2 ounces Parmesan
  • Add the rocket to a medium bowl with enough vinaigrette to thinly coat. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
    4 cups rocket
  • Slice the pear in quarters and core out the seeds. Slice each pear quarter lengthwise, as thinly as possible.
    1 barely ripe pear
  • Shave the Parmesan using a vegetable peeler onto a clean plate or cutting board.
  • Add the rocket to a salad bowl or individual salad plates and top with the pear, Parmesan shavings, and toasted walnuts. Serve with any remaining vinaigrette on the side.
    ⅓ cup walnuts

Notes

This recipe for rocket salad with pear, walnut, and Parmesan will make two good-sized side salads or two main course salads (with protein added).
This salad is best prepared right before eating. Otherwise, the arugula may become too soft in the lemon vinaigrette.
Please see the main post for suggestions for substitutions.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 599IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 1mg
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