Pear, Walnut, Arugula Salad with No-Oil Honey Mustard Dressing

Salads were never on my favourite foods list when I was growing up. In fact, most vegetables and leafy greens were not. Earlier, the only salad leaf available to us was the humble lettuce and I just hated it. However as one grows, our tastes adapt to our different environments and exposures. Arugula and rocket are now my favourites to make a salad and this one is a particular pet of mine. Maybe it’s because I get complimented for it a lot when I have people over!

You can add many fruits to arugula. You can make it with oranges, or peaches, or apples or dried berries and nuts, or plain tomato and cucumber and red and yellow peppers, but this combination is a classic. Make sure your pears are just right and not too hard or too soft. Spoon the dressing over the salad in bits and check after three teaspoons. You may want to stop there. For those who like the dressing heavy, you can keep going.

This is a no-oil salad. I found that there’s just no need for it here. It’s not adding anything much so I left it out and knocked a few calories off the dish! Now you can enjoy the cheese a little more. It’s a simple no-fuss salad with the bare minimum ingredients but oh so tasty. Normally when making most dishes I  generally don’t use measurements and its all about the approximation, so i find it really weird to put exact quantities in recipes! food is all about individual tastes so I’ll leave it to you to use your discretion. So here goes.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Salad Dressing

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
3-4 tsp lemon juice
1 pinch salt
Cracked black pepper to taste (two cracks of a pepper mill)

Greens and Nuts 

Large handful of Arugula leaves (or you can use rocket leaves)
1 pear cut into thin strips
1/4 cup walnuts broken into largish pieces
1/5 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
40 gms feta cheese

Get Started

  • Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing nicely till it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Wash the Arugula or rocket leaves nicely and try to get all the water off.
  • In a large bowl, throw in the Arugula, pear strips, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Spoon the dressing over the mix (you may not need to use all of the dressing) and toss well.
  • Place the salad leaves mix onto a serving plate and place chunks of feta over the salad, or if its a creamy one, spoon dollops of the salty cheese over the salad. You can spoon a bit of the dressing over the cheese as well.
  • Serve immediately.

Important Notes: When washing the salad leaves, make sure you do it in cold water in hot climate. Many a time my leaves have withered into a sorry looking wilted mess because I’ve used room temperature water (which is usually warm) in summer. I know better now. I first soak all greens in salt water. Then use fresh water to wash the salt off. All cold.

Do not add the dressing to the salad and keep it waiting. It will become soggy. Add the dressing just as you are serving it.

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