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Embrace The Early Autumn Weather With This Simple Salad

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Grilled pear, asparagus, lettuce salad

We may be taking a turn for the colder temperatures of fall, but that doesn't mean it's quite time to tuck our grills away just yet. In fact, it's the perfect time to use the grill to add warm components to our favorite fall salads.

Pears are one of those fruits you may not think of often, but this use makes them shine: Bartlett pears already have a natural level of sweetness, but a few minutes on the grill draws out those flavors so they pair perfectly with walnuts, cheese, and delicate bibb lettuce. And while the recipe calls for Solé Gran Queso, you can feel free to swap in a more local cheese or a healthier cheese option.

All that, paired with a homemade autumnal dressing you'll want to make a double batch of (trust us), makes this the perfect recipe for enjoying those last moments of summer warmth—while still embracing fall flavors.

Grilled Bartlett Pear Salad With Simple Autumn Vinaigrette

Serves 8

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For the dressing

  • 6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. chopped shallot
  • ⅛ tsp. dried sage
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fruity green olive oil

For the salad

  • 4 ripe Bartlett pears
  • Salt to season
  • 7 ounces baby bibb lettuce
  • ⅛ red onion (optional)
  • 2 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup dried Zante currants
  • ½ cup large grated Solé Gran Queso cheese, grated large (or comparable local cheese)


  1. To prepare the pears: To preheat the grill before cooking, set all burners on high heat, and close the lid. Heat for 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 500 to 550°F. Wash pears and slice lengthwise into 6 slices, cutting along the core. Turn down to medium heat, and, with the lid down, grill the pears just until tender, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pears from the grill. Season the pears lightly with salt, and cool before salad assembly.
  2. To prepare the vinaigrette: Place balsamic vinegar, shallot, sage, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper into a small blender. Blend to combine, and pour these ingredients into a glass bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Pour into a glass jar, cover, and keep cool until ready to assemble salad.
  3. To prepare the produce: Wash and thoroughly dry the greens. Cut pears into 6 slices (3 per salad). Remove the skin and slice the red onion into thin rings and then in halves.
  4. To assemble to salads: Divide baby bibb leaves among 8 plates in little nests, arrange 3 pear slices on leaves, and sprinkle with walnuts, currants, red onions (if using) and cheese. Right before serving, drizzle with the Simple Autumn Vinaigrette.

© 2020 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © Pam Powell. Cover and interior recipe photography: Alison Bickel.

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