This Asian pear and fennel salad is packed full of fresh ingredients, topped with crushed pistachios and juicy pomegranates. It is drizzled with zesty ponzu dressing. Pair it with any kind of dish or even enjoy it as a main course!
This beautiful vegan salad has a wonderful mix of textures and flavors. There’s a perfect crunchiness from the shaved fennel, sweetness from the Asian pear slices, and the subtle peppery flavor from the baby arugula.
On top of them, there’s crushed pistachio that adds depth to the flavor and fruity pomegranates that pop in the mouth.
It is such a great show stopper that I love serving this at any kind of gathering. It’s fancy, unique, goes well with any dish, and very easy to put together!
What is fennel?
Funnel is a layered bulbous vegetable in the carrot family and it can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a unique licorice-like flavor and crunchiness that brings your dish to the next level.
Not sure how to prepare fennel? Start cutting just above the bulb. Those feathery leaves on the stem (fronds) can be used for garnishing, so please do not toss them.
Then slice off the bottom core of the bulb. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise. Once halved, remove the core in the middle if it’s hard. Sliced thinly or shave to use for this salad recipe.
What is Asian pear?
Asian pears are round, apple-like fruit found in Japan (also called ‘nashi’), Korea or China. Compared to western pears, they are more crisp, sweeter, and juicier. Depending on its variety, they come out in a light brown, or green color.
They can be consumed just like apples, peeled or unpeeled.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Tamari soy sauce
- Maple syrup
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fennel bulb
- Asian pear - you can substitute with apple or western pear but the flavor will be slightly different
- Baby arugula leaves - or any salad leave mix
- Shelled pistachios - crushed
How to make Asian pear and fennel salad
1. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, place the fennel, pear and arugula and drizzle ¾ of the dressing mix. Toss well and taste. Adjust with more dressing, pepper, and salt if necessary.
3. Arrange the salad on a plate. Top with pomegranates, crushed pistachios. Optional: garnish with fennel leaves.
*See the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
How to avoid the pear from browning
Just like an apple, a cut up pear starts to brown when it touches the oxygen. To avoid this, leave the slices in a water filled bowl with a few pinches of salt for one minute. Then take the slices out of the water and use for cooking.
Asian Pear and Fennel Salad
For the dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- salt & pepper to taste
For the salad
- 1 small fennel bulb sliced thinly (I use a mandolin)
- 1 Asian pear cored and sliced very thinly
- 1½ cup baby arugula leaves or any salad leave mix
- ½ cup pomegranates
- 3 tablespoons shelled pistachios crushed
- Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, place the fennel, pear and arugula and drizzle ¾ of the dressing mix. Toss well and taste. Adjust with more dressing, pepper, and salt if necessary.
- Arrange the salad on a plate. Top with pomegranates, crushed pistachios.
- Optional: garnish with fennel fronds (leaves).
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.