This wholesome rocket and pear salad is made with quinoa, walnuts, feta, cranberries and a simple mustard vinaigrette. It’s the perfect side dish for entertaining, bursting with sweet, nutty and fresh flavours.
Pears are finally in season and I AM HERE FOR IT.
This rocket and pear salad recipe has the perfect balance of sweet, nutty and tartness, and I love the blend of textures. It’s such an excellent dish to whip up at dinner party or as a side salad!
Personally, I love adding cooked grains to my salads to make them heartier and more filling. Quinoa works wonderfully here but couscous would also be lovely. Typically, pears are thinly sliced in salads however, we’re breaking the rules and cutting them into chunks. It’s so much easier to mix and eat this way!
The sweet combination of the mustard dressing, juicy pears and tart cranberries is incredible. Crumbled feta cheese adds a salty savoury touch, which also pairs beautifully with the fruity sweetness. Needless to say this is a crowd pleaser and I have a feeling you will be making it on repeat (like me!).
Ingredients you’ll need
All you need to make this rocket and pear salad recipe are 10 simple, healthy ingredients:
- Pears (I used beckham)
- Rocket leaves (arugula)
- Toasted walnuts
- Cooked quinoa
- Dried cranberries
- Feta cheese
- Spring onions (scallions)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Honey or maple syrup
- Olive oil
How to make the best pear and rocket salad:
- Quinoa: start by cooking the quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with fork then cool (spread on tray and refrigerate to speed up).
- Prep ingredients: Core the pear and chop into smaller chunks. Thinly slice spring onions and roughly chop the walnuts.
- Dressing: In a small jar, mix the olive oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Cover the jar with a lid and shake dressing ingredients together.
- Assemble salad: Place rocket leaves in a bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, pear, walnuts, cranberries, spring onions and crumble in the feta cheese.
- Combine + serve: Pour over half of the dressing and toss everything together well. Serve the rocket and pear salad with remaining dressing on the side and enjoy!
Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps
- For a nut-free version, you can swap walnuts with pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or omit completely. If you’d prefer, you can try this with another nut like pecans or hazelnuts in place of walnuts.
- Instead of feta cheese try parmesan reggiano, blue cheese or goat cheese.
- For a vegan or dairy-free version, simply swap the feta cheese with a vegan alternative or omit it completely.
- Any cooked whole grain will work instead of the quinoa. Pearl couscous, barley or farro work really well.
Can this salad be made in Advance?
Short answer– yes! The rocket leaves will wilt a little however they will absorb more flavour.
If making this pear, rocket and feta salad in advance, I would recommend squeezing over some fresh lemon juice or tossing the pears in a little extra vinegar in order to prevent browning.
That said, leftovers do keep quite well for a day or two – the vinaigrette dressing helps to slow the browning process in the pears and absorbs beautifully into the quinoa. Plus, the cranberries will become more plump.
What goes with pear and rocket salad?
It’s delicious on it’s own or as a side dish. If serving as a main, feel free to add an additional protein source if desired! I love serving it with grilled chicken, salmon or prawns (shrimp).
Pear Nutrition Benefits
Pears are a great source of dietary fibre. One medium-sized pear provides 6 grams of fibre, which is about 22% of your daily needs!
In addition to fibre, pears are also a source of essential micronutrients, such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
More nourishing salad recipes to try
If you try this pear and rocket salad recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
This wholesome rocket and pear salad is made with feta, quinoa, walnuts, cranberries and a simple mustard vinaigrette. The perfect side dish for entertaining, bursting with sweet, nutty and fresh flavours.
- 120g rocket leaves (arugula)
- 1 medium pear, diced
- 1 cup cooked quinoa*
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup roasted walnuts, chopped
- 50g feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 spring onions (scallions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Core the pear and chop into smaller chunks. Thinly slice spring onions and roughly chop the walnuts.
- In a small jar, mix the olive oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Cover the jar with a lid and shake dressing ingredients together.
- Place rocket leaves in a bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, pear, walnuts, cranberries, spring onions and crumble in the feta cheese.
- Pour half of the dressing and toss everything together well.
- Serve with remaining dressing on the side and enjoy!
- Storage: Leftovers will keep fresh for about 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Vegan version: swap feta cheese for a non dairy alternative.
- Walnuts can be replaced with roasted almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds (pepitas).
- Quinoa: 1/3 cup raw quinoa= 1 cup cooked quinoa
Keywords: pear, rocket, salad, cranberries, walnuts, feta, mustard vinaigrette