Blackberry & Pear Salad {with Red Wine Poppy Seed Vinaigrette)


blackberry pear salad-squareSo we’re three weeks out from Halloween and if your blog/Facebook/Pinterest feed looks anything like mine, it’s jam-packed with pumpkin and spice and apples and baking and cakes and candy and all that. And we’ve been whole-hearted participants in that trend, so I’m not pointing fingers here.


I’m kind of needing a detox. If, you  know, a salad that has 2 cups of sugar in the dressing can be considered detoxifying (in all fairness, it makes lots of dressing, and since we can’t eat the salad all at once, I just keep it on the side and add just a little.)

My friend Bekah recently made this salad and everyone was dying of amazingness. Giant, juicy blackberries, sweet red pears, salty bacon and crumbled cheese. Plus a poppy seed vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, which might just be my favorite vinegar of all the vinegars. If you’re looking to round it out as a meal salad, it wouldn’t be terrible with avocado and/or grilled chicken. Just sayin’. I would just marinade the chicken in a little of the salad dressing for a few hours before grilling.

For the dressing, you’re going to need sugar, salt, dry mustard, a small onion, red wine vinegar, oil (like canola or peanut or other vegetable oil), and poppy seeds.

red wine poppy seed vinaigrette ingredients

In the jar of a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Transfer the dressing to a storage or serving container and whisk in the poppy seeds.

Red Wine Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Red Wine Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Refrigerate until ready to use. You can do this step up to a week ahead of time.

In a large bowl, add some torn romaine lettuce,

Romaine Lettuce

and a bag of baby mixed greens…

Mixed Greens

Chop some nuts. I actually used these Holiday Fried Pecans and there are kind of no words for how amazing they were.

Holiday Fried Pecans

Blackberry Pear Salad

(This is when I realize my original large bowl was way too small, so I upgrade to a larger bowl, that is also about to be too small. This recipe makes a lot.)

Add some crumbled cheese. Gorgonzola…blue…feta…whatever speaks to you. Today, feta was speaking to me because it was in my fridge.

Crumbled Feta

Slice up some red pears…

Red Pears

And wash some blackberries…


Add some chopped bacon and toss them all together. Right before serving, toss the salad with the dressing, or just offer it on the side (especially if there’s a chance there will be leftovers. You’ll be sad to throw this one away if it’s wilted, I promise.)

Blackberry Pear Salad from Our Best Bites

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Blackberry & Pear Salad with Red Wine Poppyseed Vinaigrette


Full of flavor, crunch, and with a vinaigrette to kill, this Blackberry & Pear Salad is guaranteed not to disappoint.


For the salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 package mixed greens
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans), roasted
  • ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola, blue, or feta cheese
  • 34 red or green pears, sliced
  • 1 small package blackberries, washed

For the dressing

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. In the jar of a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Blend until smooth.
  2. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Transfer the dressing to a storage or serving container and whisk in the poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients.
  4. To serve, either toss the salad in the dressing immediately before serving or allow people to drizzle it on individual salads. Makes a lot. Like enough for a large party.


Important Tip

  • Makes a lot. As in, enough for a large party.



  1. When you add grilled chicken, would you marinate it in the red wine vineagerette dressing or another kind ornament dressing?

  2. I made this salad for a banquet of 80+ and it rocked the house! One compliment that I was given was “this was the best thing that I have ever put in my mouth.” I have always been hesitant when it comes to bacon in salads unless it is a quality spinach salad. SHOCK MY CORE!!! It worked so in sync. I did use shallot in my dressing and chose goat cheese. I used walnuts (which I toasted–too easy; and a must) and I must say that I halved the dressing to accomodate 2 romaine heads of lettuce and 1 packaged container of spinach and arugula mix. I like to IMPRESS (only with my cooking ((;) and this recipe is the one I recommend to you! Thank you Bekah Byron

  3. This salad was a delicious beginning to our Thanksgiving Day feast. The dressing makes 2 full pint jars, so can easily be halved to dress a large salad, but we’re enjoying the leftovers. I made the recipe with only one change–coarsely grated a good sharp cheddar to please a wider range of palates. (We have some feta and blue cheese haters in the family!) It was a great combination that I will be making again. I directed everyone who requested the recipe to your site. Thanks much!

  4. Just wanted to leave a review of someone who has made and eaten this for others who come to this recipe (since no one has left a review yet) holy moly it rocked my socks off. Everyone at dinner (my family and cousins) were raving about it and went back for more. Three cheers and a well done!

  5. Wow looks great! 2 cups of sugar though??? Think I’ll skip it and maybe add some honey to taste. Trying to eat healthy. ;). Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Keep in mind that that will make a TON of dressing–likely way more than you’d need for the whole salad (I halved the dressing and just used dressing as I went and I had plenty leftover once the salad was gone.)

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