Welcome to a delightful and aromatic culinary adventure! In this post, we will be exploring the delectable combination of Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad with Vinaigrette & Pecan Nuts. This elegant dish is not only bursting with flavors and textures but also offers a healthy and satisfying option for those in search of something light yet scrumptious. Infused with the sweet, tender notes of roasted pears and the distinct, earthy essence of fennel, this salad is further elevated by a tangy vinaigrette and the crunch of toasted pecan nuts. Perfect for a warm summer day, a special gathering, or a refreshing meal on any occasion, this vibrant salad is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire.
The fennel salad recipe is a delicious idea because it caters to a wide variety of taste buds thanks to its harmonious blend of flavors. The roasted pears lend a subtle sweetness to the salad, which pairs beautifully with the earthy undertones of fennel. The vinaigrette adds a zesty tang, which cuts through the richness of the other components and leaves you craving more.
This delightful medley of flavors ensures that this salad can be enjoyed as a standalone appetizer or as a complementary side dish to any meal, regardless of the main course. With such a versatile flavor profile, it is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any event.
This exquisite warm roasted fennel salad is ideal for special occasions, including Mother's Day and Father's Day.
The Italian Fennel Salad is visually appealing, with the warm, golden hues of the roasted pears contrasting with the vibrant green of the fresh fennel fronds. This beautiful presentation adds an extra touch of sophistication to your dining experience, making it a fitting tribute for celebrating the special people in your life.
Moreover, this gluten-free pear fennel salad is a healthy choice that does not skimp on flavor. The dish is packed with essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fennel is known for its digestive benefits, while pears are a fantastic source of fiber, and pecans provide healthy fats and protein.
This Finocchio Salad (Italian Fennel salad) is made with just a few delicious ingredients.
For the roast and salad:
- Raw Fennel bulbs provide an earthy and peppery flavor and crunch to the salad while offering digestive benefits and essential nutrients.
- Sweet pears add a subtle sweetness and tender texture to the dish and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants.
- Extra virgin olive oil helps to provide the caramelized look to the pears and sliced fennel while imbuing its characteristic flavor.
- Toasted pecan nuts contribute a delightful crunch and nutty taste and provide healthy fats and protein.
- Zumac lends a tangy, slightly fruity flavor that enhances the overall taste profile and adds complexity to the dish.
- A pinch of sea salt and black pepper helps balance the flavors and brings out the natural taste of the ingredients.
- Extra virgin olive oil serves as the base for the vinaigrette, giving it a rich, smooth texture.
- Red wine vinegar adds acidity and tanginess, which cuts through the richness of the other components in the salad.
- Pomegranate molasses contributes a sweet, slightly tart flavor that adds depth to the vinaigrette.
- Maple syrup offers natural sweetness to balance the acidity and tartness in the vinaigrette.
- Lemon juice adds a fresh, citrusy zing to the vinaigrette, enhancing the overall flavor of the salad.
- Sea salt and a pinch of black pepper help to season the vinaigrette and balance its flavors.
Optional for the lemon vinaigrette
Parsley or carrot greens add a fresh, herbal touch to the vinaigrette, imparting extra flavor and color to the dish.
See the recipe card for quantities.
💡 Top tip
The vinaigrette is not 100% necessary; we find that eating roasted fennel and pears are good as they are, and the dressing is perfect to go the extra mile for a special occasion.
This warm roasted fennel salad involves 3 simple steps.
- Preparing and roasting pears and fennel bulbs.
- Making the salad dressing.
- Toasting your choice of nuts.
First, go ahead and preheat your oven to a toasty 400º F (200º C).
Grab your fennel bulb and slice it into quarters, then halve those quarters.
Time to prep the pears – simply cut them into 4 pieces each.
Hint:Don't forget to save some of those lovely fronds for a garnish later on.
Now, in a large mixing bowl, combine the fennel and pears. Drizzle some olive oil over them and add a dash of sumac, salt, and pepper. Give everything a good toss to ensure they're evenly coated.
Hint: adding lemon juice to the pears and fennel slices will prevent browning.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the fennel and pears. Drizzle some olive oil over them and add a dash of sumac, salt, and pepper. Give everything a good toss to ensure they're evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet and arrange your fennel and pears on it. Pop them into the oven.
Let them roast for 15-20 minutes or until they're tender but still hold their shape (toss halfway with kitchen thongs).
While they're roasting, let's whip up that salad dressing!
Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Meanwhile, toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat, making sure to gently shake or stir them frequently to achieve that perfect, light golden-brown finish.
Remove the pears and fennel slices from the oven.
Once everything's ready, arrange the roasted pears and fennel on top of the dressing.
Finish it off with a garnish of toasted pecans and those reserved fennel fronds; serve immediately and enjoy your tasty creation!
- Extra virgin olive oil - sub for another vegetable-neutral oil such as avocado oil or flaxseed oil.
- Pecan nuts - add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts instead. Make sure to toast the nuts to make them crunchy and enhance their flavor.
- Pomegranate molasses - sub for thick balsamic glaze.
- Red wine vinegar - use balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.
- Maple syrup - substitute with agave nectar.
Some people like sprinkling crumbled goat cheese; we go for vegan feta cheese when we feel like adding that extra umami/sour touch.
Serve the warm salad over a spring mix or your greens of choice.
Red wine vinegar - we like replacing with adding a tablespoon of Dijon Mustard to the dressing for a change
🥢 How to serve
Serve this roasted fennel salad with a maple-glazed tofu steak, marinated grilled tofu, or a cauliflower steak.
- Baking sheet: The baking sheet is used to roast the fennel and pears in the oven. Its flat surface allows for even heat distribution, ensuring that the ingredients are cooked uniformly. Additionally, using a baking sheet makes it easier to toss and turn the fennel and pears during the roasting process, promoting even browning and caramelization for optimal flavor and texture.
- Large bowl: The large bowl is used for mixing and tossing the salad ingredients together, ensuring that the flavors are well-distributed throughout the dish. This also helps incorporate the vinaigrette evenly, providing a consistent taste in every bite.
- Small bowl, on the other hand, is used for whisking together the ingredients of the vinaigrette. Mixing the vinaigrette in a separate, smaller container allows for better control over the emulsion and enables you to adjust the seasoning and flavors before adding it to the salad.
Store this salad in a BPA-free (affiliate link), tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This salad does not stand well after freezing.
📚 More salad recipes
If you've enjoyed this salad recipe, we encourage you to explore some of the other delightful salads on our blog that cater to a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.
For more salad inspiration, try our refreshing Vegan Greek Salad, the nutrient-packed Vegan Kale Salad, or the hearty Roasted Pumpkin Salad. You can also delight in the rich flavors of our Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables, which make for a fantastic side dish or main course.
To elevate your salads even further, consider experimenting with our Homemade Vinaigrette Recipe and the delectable Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. For a unique and satisfying meal, give our Couscous and Roasted Veggies Warm Salad a try, or enjoy the savory goodness of our Roasted Brussels Sprouts. And for those seeking an authentic regional dish, our Catalan-inspired Escalivada is sure to please.
Happy cooking, and we hope you continue to find culinary inspiration in our diverse and delicious collection of recipes!
When roasted, fennel undergoes a transformation in both texture and flavor. Its natural licorice-like taste mellows out, becoming sweeter and more caramelized. The roasting process also softens the fennel, giving it a tender and slightly buttery texture that easily complements other ingredients in a dish.
Fennel pairs well with a variety of ingredients, thanks to its unique, earthy, and slightly sweet flavor. Some popular pairings include citrus fruits (like oranges and lemons), pears, apples, tomatoes, and olives. Fennel also complements grain dishes, such as quinoa, barley, and farro, as well as legumes like lentils and chickpeas. In terms of herbs and spices, fennel works well with dill, parsley, thyme, and tarragon. Additionally, it can be successfully combined with vegan cheeses and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans.
⭐ If you try this pear and fennel salad recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad with Vinaigrette and Pecan Nuts
For the roast
- 2 bulbs fennel quartered
- 2 pears quartered
- 1 handful pecan nuts toasted
- 1 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin, or neutral vegetable oil.
- ¼ teaspoon sumac dried
- pinch fine sea salt and black pepper
For the Optional Vinaigrette sauce
- 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin, or neutral vegetable oil.
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or thick balsamic glaze
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ lemon juices
- ½ teaspoon sea salt and pinch of black pepper
Optional for vinaigrette
- ½ oz parsley finely chopped, or carrot greens
- First, go ahead and preheat your oven to a toasty 400º F (200º C).
- Slice the fennel bulb and slice it into quarters, then halve those quarters. Save some of those lovely fronds for a garnish later on. Time to prep the pears – simply cut them into 4 pieces each.
- Now, in a large mixing bowl, combine the fennel and pears. Drizzle some olive oil over them and add a dash of sumac, salt, and pepper. Give everything a good toss to ensure they're evenly coated.
- Line a baking sheet and arrange your fennel and pears on it. Pop them into the oven and let them roast for 15-20 minutes- or until they're tender but still hold their shape. (Toss halfway with kitchen thongs)
- Make the dressing. While they're roasting, let's whip up that dressing! Whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.
- Toast the pecan nuts on medium heat for 5 minutes in a skillet, moving them regularly until lightly toasted.
- Serve. Once everything's ready, arrange the roasted pears and fennel on top of the dressing. Finish it off with a garnish of toasted pecans and those reserved fennel fronds. Enjoy your tasty creation!
- Instead of extra virgin olive oil, feel free to use a neutral vegetable oil like avocado oil or flaxseed oil to suit your taste.
- Swap out pecan nuts for walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts. Don't forget to toast your chosen nuts or seeds for that irresistible crunch and flavor boost.
- If pomegranate molasses isn't on hand, go ahead and use a thick balsamic glaze as an alternative.
- Red wine vinegar can be replaced with balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a slightly different tang.
- Lastly, if you don't have maple syrup available, simply substitute it with agave nectar. Enjoy!
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend all of the products listed because they are companies I have found helpful and trustworthy.
This roasted fennel and pear salad is so delicious! The vinaigrette adds a perfect balance of flavor. Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive feedback, Erin! We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the roasted fennel and pear salad recipe and found the vinaigrette to be the perfect complement. It's great to know that our recipe has been well-received and we hope that you continue to enjoy it for many meals to come. Thanks again for trying out our recipe and for sharing your wonderful review!
Oh my! The aniseed flavour from the fennel with buttery nuts and sweet pairs - just wow! Your recipes always blow our minds! We made it with baby fennel so quartered them instead of cutting into 8 wedges as they were a lot smaller and then followed the rest of the recipe exactly and it was nothing short of AMAZING!
Hi Iaeva, thank you so much for the glowing 5-star review! We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the harmonious blend of aniseed flavor from the fennel, buttery nuts, and sweet pears in our salad recipe. It's fantastic to know that our recipes continue to impress you! Your adaptation with baby fennel sounds like a delightful touch, and we're glad the salad turned out AMAZING for you. Keep enjoying our recipes, and we appreciate your continued support! Happy cooking!
This salad is fantastic! It's so easy to follow and the end result is delicious.
Hi Ned! Thank you for the 5-star review! We're thrilled to hear that you found the salad fantastic and the recipe easy to follow. It's always our goal to create delicious and accessible dishes for everyone to enjoy. Keep exploring our recipes, and happy cooking!
Gail Montero says
Roasting the fennel and pears brings out their delicious flavors and makes this salad taste amazing! Love this!