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
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.
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?
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!
Nutritional Information & Recipe