Warm Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad


  • Prep Time45 mins
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Makes4 to 6 servings
Warm Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad

Produced by Chantal Braganza and Sun Ngo, Photography by Christie Vuong, Prop Styling by Catherine Doherty, Food Styling by Eshun Mott.

Enjoy the bounty of this winter salad, featuring end-of-season pears and crisp fennel and topped with a warm vinaigrette.

Pear Vinaigrette

  • 3 Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou or Asian pears

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 cup leeks, white and light green parts, sliced

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil

Maple Pecans

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 cups raw whole pecans

  • 2 tbsp orange zest

  • Pinch of fleur de sel, optional

  • 2 to 3 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (1⁄8-in. thick)

  • 1/2 cup crumbled Bleu d'Elizabeth cheese

  • 1/2 cup broccoli microgreens, optional


  • Position rack in centre of oven, then preheat to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

  • Vinaigrette: Peel one pear and leave skin on other two. Halve all three pears lengthwise and remove cores. Toss with olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1⁄2 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Arrange pears, cut-side down, on prepared sheet. Roast until they start to brown, 12 to 15 min. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium. Add leeks. Cook, stirring often, until leeks soften, 2 to 3 min. Cut peeled pear into quarters, then add to leeks along with vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 more min. Scrape mixture into a blender. Whirl on low until puréed. Increase speed to medium and drizzle in grapeseed oil while blending. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Set vinaigrette aside.

  • Pecans: Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Combine 1⁄2 cup maple syrup with 1 tsp salt and cayenne pepper in a medium frying pan set over medium. Cook, stirring, until mixture starts to bubble. Cook for 1 min. Add pecans, orange zest and 2 tbsp water. Cook, stirring constantly, until pecans are coated. Cook for 2 more min, making sure not to burn pecans. Remove pan from heat and scrape pecans onto prepared sheet. Sprinkle fleur de sel overtop. Set aside to cool completely. Reserve 1 cup maple pecans for salad, and store the rest in a sealed container for another use.

  • Assembly: Slice remaining roasted pears into 1⁄4-in.-thick wedges. Drizzle 1⁄4 cup vinaigrette over bottom of a serving platter. Scatter with half of fennel, then top with half of roasted pears. Scatter over half of reserved maple pecans and crumbled blue cheese. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Spoon more warm vinaigrette overtop. Season with pepper and garnish with micro greens, if desired.

Kitchen tip

Using a mandolin will make it easier to slice fennel very thinly. You can do this ahead of time; cover sliced fennel with cold water and a squeeze of lemon in a large bowl, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Drain fennel and pat dry before using.

This recipe by Suzanne Barr is part of a holiday potluck feast from the Chatelaine Cross-Canada Test Kitchen. Get the full menu.

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