arugula pear parmesan salad

Arugula, pear and parmesan salad

2 April 2011

What happens when I, lover of carbohydrates, eliminate grains and legumes from my diet? I’m left with salad, carrot sticks and salad. Fortunately few things are more satisfying to me than a big bowl of fresh, well-dressed veggies – except maybe a warm buttered slice of sourdough bread, a moist slice of chocolate cake, or a heaping pile of spaghetti…oh man, am I hungry.

I love fresh produce. I can’t pass a farmer’s market without emptying my wallet. I stock up on fruits and vegetables the way my kids amass Halloween candy. It’s a rare dinner at my house that doesn’t include an enormous salad. It just usually includes something else – the dinner part. I’ve been missing that part for the last few weeks, and protein just doesn’t do it for me.

But the good news is my eczema is worlds better, and I can once again recognize the face in the mirror. I have loads of fascinating food research to share that has really rocked my whole concept of healthy eating, but I’m not quite ready yet. Today is just about salad.

Fresh spring greens are here and winter fruit is still plentiful – a perfect time for making one of my all-time favorite salads. Peppery arugula (aka rocket), sweet pear and salty shavings of parmesan: my balsamic vinaigrette gives it a nice richness for cold days, or a simple drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and squeeze of lemon give it a light freshness for a sunny spring meal.

This hardly needs instructions. Bunch of fresh arugula, thin-sliced ripe pear, shaved aged Parmesan cheese. Toss well, and here’s what you get.

Trust me, it’s really good. And if you aren’t loving it (or if you’re trying to soothe away a bread craving), add more parmesan. Works every time.

Arugula, Pear and Parmesan Salad
A longtime favorite: peppery arugula, sweet pear, salty parmesan. I love it with my balsamic vinaigrette, or a simple drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon.


  • Arugula (also known as rocket), one bunch or bag
  • Ripe pear, firm but with a bit of give
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved thinly
  • Balsamic dressing, or extra virgin olive oil and a lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Wash and dry arugula. Note that arugula sold in a bunch can be sandy; best to soak in large bowl of water and agitate to allow sand to sink down. Repeat until clean. Pre-bagged arugula is usually quite clean, but it’s always good to rinse.
  2. Slice pear thinly.
  3. Dress arugula with balsamic dressing or generous drizzles of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Toss well, adding salt and pepper if desired. Add pear slices and mix gently. Top with shavings of parmesan.

Here’s the link to a printable version.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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