Bitter Greens with Pears, Croutons and Candied Walnuts


Dandelion greens, arugula and watercress, some of which are available wild this time of year, highlight this main-course salad. If you are buying the wild greens, sample them first because they can taste much stronger than the cultivated variety. Fresh spinach helps cut the bitterness of the greens, but you can substitute any mild lettuce in its place. Asian pears are delicious in this recipe, but more common varieties like Bosc or Anjou are just as good. All three dressings work well in this salad.

  • servingServings


  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1/2 bunch arugula
  • 1/2 bunch watercress
  • 3/4 cup Creamy Lemon-Tahini Dressing, "Super" Green Dressing or Apple-Flax Vinaigrette (/August '00/p. 49, 50)
  • 2 Asian pears, cored, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Tempeh croutons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. shoyu, tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 1 cup walnut halves (4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


  1. Make croutons: Preheat oven to 325°F. In small bowl, whisk together oil, cider, vinegar and shoyu. Add tempeh and mix well. Spread in medium baking dish and bake until golden, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
  2. In medium skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts until fragrant, shaking pan occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool briefly. Add maple syrup and return to medium heat. Stir until syrup has coated and hardened on walnuts, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to parchment paper, spreading them out to avoid clumping. Cool.
  3. In large bowl, toss pears and all greens with dressing of choice and divide among plates. Sprinkle each with some tempeh croutons and toasted walnuts and serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 6 servings
  • Calories: 519
  • Carbohydrate Content: 32 g
  • Fat Content: 39 g
  • Fiber Content: 6 g
  • Protein Content: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 4 g
  • Sodium Content: 365 mg