Arugula Pear Salad with Candied Nuts

This arugula pear salad is special occasion worthy but so simple to make! The contrast of the crunchy sweet candied walnuts, juicy pears and rich bleu cheese is perfection.

  • Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1/3 cup whole walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby arugula
  • 1 medium bartlett pear (ripe), sliced
  • 1 ounce bleu cheese crumbles (optional)


  1. Make the candied nuts: add walnuts, butter and sugar to a small skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking/burning and cook for about 6-8 minutes until nuts are coated and fragrant. Transfer to a parchment lined plate to cool (gently separate so they don’t clump together).
  2. Make the dressing: whisk white wine vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Slowly stream in the olive oil while continuously whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Assemble the salad: add the arugula to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to coat (see notes). Portion on to plates and top with the candied nuts, pear slices and bleu cheese crumbles.



  • The equipment section above includes affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and recommend.
  • Toss the arugula with dressing just before serving. It will get soggy and wilted fast.
  • You can also serve this is a large serving bowl or platter, but I prefer to portion salads like these on individual plates so everyone gets nuts, pears and bleu cheese in every bite. 


Keywords: candied nuts, holiday salads, holiday side dish, simple salads