Healthy Pear and Fennel Salad is one of our favourite vegetarian slaws to serve during the cool Fall and Winter months.
Our quick & easy Fennel Pear Salad recipe is a crowd-pleasing, delicious side dish to serve with a roast during the bountiful harvest season.
This crunchy and creamy Pear Fennel Salad features flavourful ingredients like lemon, honey, olive oil, currants, scallions, parsley and Cambozola cheese.
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What is Cambozola?
The cheese was invented in the 1980s by Champignon, a German company. In English-speaking countries, Cambozola is often marketed as “blue brie.”
The cheese’s name is a portmanteau of Camembert and Gorgonzola, which is fitting, given that its flavour profile combines the moist, rich creaminess of Camembert with the sharpness of blue Gorgonzola. It also refers to Cambodunum, the Roman name of Kempten, the city where the cheese producer is located.
It is made from a combination of Penicillium camemberti and the same blue Penicillium roqueforti mould used to make Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton. Extra cream is added to the milk, giving Cambozola a rich consistency characteristic of triple crèmes, while the edible bloomy rind is similar to that of Camembert.
The addition of cambozola to our easyPear and Fennel Salad gives the dish a distinctive and decadent creamy taste.
What is Fennel?
Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and delicate leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
It is a highly aromatic and flavourful herb used in cooking and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
The bulb, foliage, and fruits of the fennel plant are used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. The small flowers of wild fennel (known as fennel “pollen”) are the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive. The leaves are delicately flavored and similar in shape to those of dill.
The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Tender young leaves are used for garnishes, as a salad, to add flavour to salads, to flavor sauces and also in soups. Both the inflated leaf bases and the tender young shoots can be eaten like celery.
Thinly sliced fennel makes up the bulk of this homemade pear salad recipe.
Best Pears For Fennel Salad
Pears are fruits produced and consumed around the world, growing on a tree and harvested in the Northern Hemisphere in late summer into October.
About 3000 known varieties of pears are grown worldwide, which vary in both shape and taste. The fruit is consumed fresh, canned, as juice, or dried.
We’ve used julienned ripe Bartlett Pear in this Fennel Salad recipe to give the dish a juicy crunch. We suggest using soft ripe pears as they contrast nicely with crunchiness of the fennel.
Feel free to use any of your favourite pear varieties. Other favourites include Forelle, Bosc, Anjous and Comice.
My Family LovesPear and Fennel Salad
My family loves fresh salads, especially if they are quick and easy to make last minute.
We’re all omnivores and thankfully don’t have any allergies. We try and balance a healthy diet that features lean meat, sustainable seafood, local cheese, legumes, seeds, nuts and fresh vegetables.
I developed this Pear and Fennel Salad in the Fall just before Thanksgiving. After visiting my local farmers market I purchased all of the fresh ingredients as they were in season.
What I love most about this salad is that it has a variety of textures: chewy currants, crunchy fennel, soft and juicy pear and creamy Cambozola cheese.
Let the fresh fruits and vegetables speak for themselves by dressing the salad with a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, honey and lemon.
We love serving this Pear and Fennel Salad during the cooler months of the year in Fall and Winter. It’s the perfect slaw to serve at Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas brunch.
Fennel Pear Salad Health Benefits
Our Pear and Fennel Salad recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Scallions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Currants contain healthy vitamins and minerals. They are also fat-free and cholesterol-free, high in antioxidants, and an excellent source of fibre.
Pears are rich in essential antioxidants, plant compounds, and dietary fibre. They pack all of these nutrients in a fat free, cholesterol free, 100 calorie package.
The potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in fennel, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Fennel contains significant amounts of fibre.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
How To MakePear and Fennel Salad
This Pear Fennel Salad is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time salad tossers!
- We suggest using a French knife to julienne the pear into matchsticks.
- We suggest using a mandolin to thinly slice the fennel bulb.
- We’ve used dried currants in this recipe but you could substitue for golden raisins or dried cranberries if you prefer.
- You can add additional crunch, fibre and protein by tossing the salad with your favourite roasted nuts like walnuts, pecans or almonds.
- We’ve used parsley in this recipe but you could also flavour the salad with other tender herbs like dill, basil and chives.
- We’ve used Cambozola cheese in this recipe but if you aren’t a fan of blue cheese flavour feel free to substitute with camembert or brie.
- You can serve this healthy Pear and Fennel Salad to vegans if you omit the cheese.
What To Serve withFennel Pear Salad
This family favourite Pear Fennel Salad can be enjoyed as a main course or vegetarian side dish.
We love serving this recipe as an entree at lunch, enjoying large bowls with a slice of sourdough bread or gourmet crackers. We intentionally created a salad that is well balanced nutritionally so your body has everything it needs in one bowl.
Crunchy Fennel Pear Salad should be paired with a bottle of dry white wine, preferably from a winery in Beamsville, Niagara on the Lake or Prince Edward County. The recipe also pairs well with a citrus-forward IPA craft beer. If you’re more of a mixed drink fan check our our guide to the best craft cocktails.
There’s a reason so many restaurants have “soup & salad specials.” For a more substantial meal we recommend pairing our homemade Fennel Pear Salad with a healthy soup like Portuguese Bean Soup, Chipotle Mexican Bean Soup, Fakes Soupa, Ogorkowa Zupa, Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup, Cheesy Vegetarian Cheddar Broccoli Almond Soup and Creamy Vegetarian Parsnip and Pear Soup.
If you’re serving this cold salad at a barbecue, it pairs nicely with plump sausages, hamburgers, steaks or grilled prawns.
If you’re looking for a great dessert idea to enjoy after your salad feast why not delight your guests with Blueberry Mango Crepes, Banana Oat Flour Pancakes, Apple Fritter Muffins, Sticky Toffee Banana and Date Muffins or Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies?
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Best Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe
Cambozola Currant Pear and Fennel Salad
- French knife
- Salad Bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Honey
- 6 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 2 Pears
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Currants
- 1/2 cup Scallions sliced
- 1 tbsp Parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup Cambozola Cheese diced
- For the dressing, whisk lemon juice and honey in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well incorporated.
- Trim the fennel bulb. Cut lengthwise in half and then using a mandoline slice as thinly as possible. Plate in a salad bowl.
- Cut the pears into quarters, remove the core and slice lengthwise into matchsticks.
- Add the pears to the fennel. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and cracked pepper. Add currants, scallions and chopped parsley. Toss and serve sprinkled with cambozola cheese.
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