Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

gluten freevegetarian

This vegetarian, crunchy, sweet, and savory salad was inspired by an appetizer plate at Swan Restaurant in Miami, and can be enjoyed as a hearty lunch salad or start or side to any meal. It’s fancy, but totally easy to make – and gluten free! 

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

80% of the time, my recipes are developed just by what I’m craving – a bowl of spaghetti, a spring salad, a hearty bowl of Mexican flavor, or whatever. I love recreating my favorite classic pasta and noodle dishes (that’s where we have 4 different lo-mein recipes on the blog!), but sometimes, I’m inspired by dining out.

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

My husband and I love to travel and love trying new restaurants. While we were in Miami recently, we had the most unbelievably epic salad at a restaurant called Swan in the Miami Arts District. It was a Little Gem Salad that had shaved ricotta salata, pears, quinoa, and crunchy walnuts. It was a giant appetizer salad and we devoured it.

There’s something about the sweet pear, the melt in your mouth ricotta, the crunch of the walnuts and lettuce, and the tiny pearls of quinoa that make this salad next level. I am literally going to make it at every single dinner party or brunch I throw from here on out! I’m thinking of summer-izing it with some spiralized cantaloupe next! What do you think?

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

And just as a note, I left this in the refrigerator for two days and it was still just as delicious, so it can definitely be made ahead!

Watch our video to learn how to spiralize a pear using the Inspiralizer and subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch more videos:


Nutritional Information & Recipe

Serves 4-6

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

20 minPrep Time

20 minTotal Time

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  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (if you can’t find this, it’s not a total deal breaker, just use extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts + 4 tablespoons well chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 2oz shaved ricotta salata
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1 bosc pear, Blade A (no need to trim them, the pear noodles are brittle enough that they will break up when tossed in the salad)
  • 2 heads little gem lettuce


  1. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a large salad bowl and toss well. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently. Top with remaining chopped walnuts and serve.

Little Gem Pear Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

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hi! 👋🏼 just checking in! twins are doing so well, their little personalities are really shining through. and they’re getting so big, they barely fit on my chest together anymore 😭😭 (rio is almost 11 pounds and sol is almost 10!) they’re sleeping almost 5 hours at night which gives me some rest in between nursing sessions (if I’m lucky enough that one of my older kids doesn’t wake up in between that time 🤦🏻‍♀️.) as for me, I’m coming out of the newborn fog 🙏🏼 the hardest part has been dividing my time between all FOUR of my kids, honestly. I’ll never get it right 😏 today I had my 6 week postpartum check up and I guess everything is back where it’s supposed to go 😅 because I got the green light to resume normal life again, but can we be honest…. with twin newborns, I’m in no rush to 🏋🏻‍♀️ or 🍆 , ya know? ...

the soup that broke the internet! 😜🥣haha, just kidding, but after posting this on stories, my DMs were flooded with, "share the recipe!" and then dozens of you made the soup solely based off my story videos (which is why I shared it!)⁣ 👏🏼

I'm still deep in the newborn fog to take proper photos and build an SEO-friendly blog post (it's an hours-long process), so I'm sharing it here in the meantime - just save it to refer back to! you're going to want to make this alllll winter long.⁣ ❄️

potato and brussels sprouts white bean soup w/ or w/o chicken sausage⁣ 👇🏼
serves 4-6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil⁣
1/2 red onion, diced⁣
2 garlic cloves, minced⁣
2 carrots, diced⁣
1 large celery rib, diced⁣
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme⁣
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12 ounces shredded brussels sprouts⁣
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red pepper flakes to garnish⁣

heat half the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. add the cannellini beans, rosemary, thyme, and stir. add the broth, 2 cups water, and season generously with salt and pepper. bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. use an immersion blender to blend the soup. add the potatoes, bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to a medium-simmer and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.⁣

while potatoes cook, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the chicken sausage and cook until browned. add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook until sprouts are tender and chicken is cooked through. keep aside. if you're vegetarian, just simply omit chicken sausage.⁣

once potatoes are done, add the chicken and sprouts to the soup, stir, and serve. top with cheese and red pepper flakes.