Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Last week was Restaurant Week in Boston, and you can rest assured that John and I took full advantage of the 3 course prix fixe menus offered throughout the city and surrounding suburbs.

The first on our list was Rialto, a regional Italian-themed restaurant nestled into the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square.

The meal overall was pretty good – but my first course selection was stellar! The salad consisted of tender fresh greens, sweet chewy dates, salty parmesan cheese, and a rich maple dressing.

After relishing in the delicious combination of flavors and textures, I chastised myself for not coming up with something similar on my own. Clearly, I had to recreate this masterpiece at home.

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

As I was gathering together the necessary ingredients, a bowlful of beautiful ripe pears on the counter caught my eye, and inspiration struck; I knew they would make the salad not only even tastier, but more filling as well.

Name:Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:0 minutes (no cooking required)
Total Time:15 minutes
Servings:4 servings
Yield:Approximately 4 servings


  1. 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced
  2. 4 cups fresh arugula leaves
  3. 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  4. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
  5. 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  6. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  8. 1 tablespoon honey
  9. Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Dressing
Start by making the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until well combined. Set the dressing aside.

Toast the Walnuts
Preheat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast them for a few minutes until they’re lightly browned and fragrant. Be sure to toss them frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and let them cool before chopping.

Prepare the Salad
Wash and dry the arugula leaves thoroughly. Place them in a large salad bowl. Add the thinly sliced pears, chopped dates, and toasted walnuts.

Toss the Ingredients
Gently toss the ingredients together to combine. Be careful not to crush the pears or arugula. The combination of textures and flavors should be evenly distributed.

Drizzle the Dressing
Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad. Start with a little and add more as needed, ensuring the salad is evenly coated.

Add Parmesan
Scatter the shaved Parmesan cheese over the top of the salad. The salty and creamy notes of Parmesan will complement the sweetness of the pears and dates.

Toss Again and Serve
Give the salad one final gentle toss to incorporate the dressing and Parmesan. Serve the Pear Arugula Salad immediately on individual plates or in a serving dish.

Estimated Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Total Fat: 15g
    • Saturated Fat: 3g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 25g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5g
    • Sugar: 16g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 20%
  • Iron: 10%
  • Potassium: 310mg

Please note that nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes. It’s always a good practice to calculate nutrition based on the exact products you use. Enjoy your delicious Pear Arugula Salad!

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

Medjool dates, how I love thee! Plump, chewy, and unbelievably naturally sweet – medjool dates are one of my favorite foods. Why have I not been adding them to salads? I will be from now on.

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

After slicing the pears and chopping the dates, I whipped up a simple vinaigrette consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and mustard. This is one of my go-to homemade salad dressings, but I play around with the ratios depending on what type of salad I’m making. I went a bit heavy on the maple syrup for this particular dressing, as this salad is meant to be a sweet one.

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

The shavings of parmesan cheese provide the perfect salty flavor counterpoint to the sweet maple syrup, dates, and pears; and I love the aesthetic value they give to the salad.

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

Oh! I almost forgot to mention the base of the salad, which is my newest edible obsession: arugula. The peppery bite adds so much flavor to salads. If you’re not a fan, you can sub in baby spinach or romaine lettuce; but I urge you to give arugula a try.

Pear Arugula Salad with Dates and Parmesan

Indulge in the perfect blend of sweet and savory with our Pear Arugula Salad. Juicy pears, peppery arugula, sweet dates, and Parmesan shavings create a delightful melody for your taste buds. Tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is a symphony of flavors and a treat for your senses. Quick, easy, and utterly delicious!

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