grilled pear and eggplant salad with a honey mustard dressing

As I was making {and eating} this salad, I thought to myself ... I am going to start off this post by saying I am not one who likes fruit in my salad. Then I thought ... well ... that's not really true. Ever since I had my first watermelon / tomato / feta salad, I can no longer say that I am a person who "does not like fruit in their salad".

I generally do feel like there is a place for fruit, and there is a place for vegetables. Sometimes it's keeping them separate, and sometimes they go so well together it seems like it was meant to be. 

Eggplant and pear might not seem like a likely combination, but you have to trust me on this one ... these two were totally meant to be. 

The savory eggplant enhances the sweet pear, the sweet pear enhances the savory eggplant. With grilled fruit, there is something about those caramelized, charred grill marks that seems to play so nicely with vegetables.

I first stumbled on a pear and eggplant recipe in last month's issue of Food & Wine magazine. I was intrigued, but I also had a hunch that this combination would be amazing. And it is. My rendition here is a little different, omitting the butter and cheese and adding some greens and a honey mustard dressing. A different, and if I might add - more healthy, way to enhance the pear and eggplant combo.

This salad would make a great starter for a fall dinner party. It's a bit of a conversation piece. Feel free to declare the eggplant and pear is the new watermelon, tomato, and feta. I surely will be. 

grilled pear and eggplant salad with a honey mustard dressing


2-4 people


several small (tiny) eggplants, or 1 medium sized eggplant, sliced thin lengthwise
2-3 pears, sliced thin legnthwise
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

a bunch of frisée, or belgium endive
2 big handfuls of spinach
a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped 

for the honey mustard dressing:
2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 tablspoon of water
salt & pepper


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º. 
  • First, prepare the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Set aside. 
  • Then, place the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant becomes soft and browned. 
  • While the eggplant is baking, grill the pears. Place a grill pan over medium heat and add the pears. Grill the pears for 5-7 minutes on each side. You want them to brown, soften, and have nice grill marks. When they're done, remove and set aside. 
  • Assemble the salad. Start by taking the greens and tossing them in a large bowl with the honey mustard dressing. Plate the greens, and then add the grilled pears and the eggplant on top. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top and finish with a good drizzle of the honey mustard dressing.