Tag Archives: Fennel

Gluten-Free Salads Vegan

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad

This past week I took a nice solid detox away from everything.

I flew back to the East coast for a wonderful week of relaxation with my parents. I don’t get to go home as often as I would like, so when I am home, I try to savor every moment of it.

This trip I split my time between Boston and Maine, which was very special because I haven’t been to our home in Maine since before I moved to Los Angeles (a year and a half ago!).


While I was home, I got to see some of my best friends: Amanda, Gabby, and Jenni. They all live in Boston, so I am always so appreciative for the time I have with them when I come home. The time always goes by too fast, though!

It was especially nice to be home with this little cutie:


Diesel was quite spoiled this holiday season. He got some new toys and a pretty badass new sweater. He was pretty thrilled about them. He is one of the few dogs I know who actually enjoys wearing sweaters and jackets (as opposed to constantly trying to paw them off). Since he is so small, he gets cold  easily during the winter, so I think he appreciates the added layer!



How cute is his little nub of a tail?


As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite parts of going home is the chance to cook with my dad. Whenever I come home, he always has a new recipe or kitchen gadget he is excited to show me. I always love the opportunity to learn from him.

My dad made a version of this Pear and Fennel Salad before and raved about it.  It sounded delicious to me and since we had a pear and some fennel in the fridge, we decided to make it again and just invented the rest by adding other ingredients we had in the kitchen. The end result was delicious!

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe -- perfect for winter! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I have used chopped pears into salads before, but never roasted them first. After trying this salad, I will always roast my pears in the future. It really brings out the natural sweetness in the fruit and makes the slices almost melt in your mouth!

What really made this salad, though, was a wonderful Cranberry Pear Balsamic that my parents picked up in Arizona. We just sprinkled the balsamic by itself (no oil!) onto the salad and it was simply perfect. I urge you to try and find this balsamic (or something similar). If you can’t find it though, don’t worry. You can still make this salad and substitute another white balsamic in its place.

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe -- perfect for winter! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This was a wonderful winter salad. I know I will make this many more times over the coming months. It is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. You can use spinach in place of arugula, raisins instead of cranberries, pecans instead of walnuts, the list goes on.

If you make this, let me know what combinations you try!


Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad
  • 1 unpeeled pear, halved, and then cut into ⅛ inch slices
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems, cores and tough outer layers removed, then cut in half and sliced lengthwise into ⅛ inch thick half-moons
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted*
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 3 large handfuls of arugula
  • Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar (or another White Balsamic of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the fennel and pear slices on the baking sheet, arranging in a single layer. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the fennel and pear. Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Watch carefully as to not burn. Remove from the oven and allow the fennel and pear slices to cool.
  2. Arrange a medium salad bowl with the arugula at the bottom. Then add the cooled pear and fennel slices. Sprinkle the cranberries and toasted walnuts on top. Then serve with the Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar.
* To toast the walnuts either place them on a separate baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven while the pear and fennel are roasting for about 5 minutes (watch them carefully because they will burn quickly). OR heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat and add the walnuts. Toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. The walnuts will be done when they turn a darker shade of brown and you will be able to smell them toasting.