Pear & Parmesan Salad

w5 pear & rocket salad-2

Pear & Parmesan Salad

This was inspired by a recent visit to Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Sydney. There were a couple of main course salads on the menu which reminded me just how delicious and satisfying a big salad can be.

serves 2
takes: 15 minutes

1 tablespoon sherry, rice or other wine vinegar
1 pear, finely sliced
4 large handfuls rocket (arugula)
2 large handfuls shaved parmesan
2 small handfuls shelled pistachios

1. Whisk vinegar with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season.

2. Toss pear and rocket in the dressing. Divide between 2 plates.

3. Serve with parmesan and pistachios sprinkled over.

Leftover Potential

Will still be edible after a week or so in the fridge but best when the leaves are freshly dressed.


carnivore – replace the pistachios with finely shaved proscuitto.

nut-free – replace the pistachios with a handful of semi dried tomatoes.

vegan / dairy-free – replace parmesan with chunks of avocado.

different leaves – replace rocket (arugula) with other salad leaves. Radicchio is also lovely here for a more Autumnal vibe.

more substantial – double the parmesan and pistachios.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

sherry, rice or other wine vinegar / pistachios – keep them in the pantry.

pears – will keep for a few weeks (depending on how ripe they are) in a plastic bag in the fridge. For longer storage just pop them in the freezer to defrost and cook later.

rocket leaves – best to use for another meal.

– wrap in waxed paper or baking paper and store in the fridge in a sealed paper bag or airtight container. Will keep for months. Can be frozen if you’re going away.

Problem Solving Guide

too bland? – give the sauce a little more seasoning. And a splash more vinegar.

too oily / too much dressing – just transfer the salad to a clean bowl, leaving behind as much of the dressing as possible, then toss in the new bowl to rub some of the dressing off onto the sides. If things are really bad a bit of judicious paper towel blotting will help.

dressing too sharp – sharpness will vary with your vinegar, so don’t be afraid to balance it out with a little more olive oil.

Serving Suggestions

Great as a quick light dinner on its own. Also wonderful without the pistachios as a side to most Italian food.

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  • I had a similar pear & arugula salad at a restaurant recently that used a lime vinaigrette that went surprisingly well with blue cheese and pecans. I’m going to try to recreate this with a lime dressing.

  • This looks delicious! I’ve learned so many useful and time-saving techniques from your videos, such as mixing the salad dressing first in the bottom of the salad bowl rather than in a separate bowl or shaving parmesan with a veggie peeler. One thing I still struggle with as a new cook is knife skills, and I think getting better at this skill would be safer and save me a lot of time in the kitchen. Have you ever done a video lesson on knife skills or other technical cooking skills, or do you have any recommended resources? Thanks!

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