Beet and Pear Salad

This crunchy, refreshing salad studded with purple beets, Asian pear, and hazelnuts is complemented by a fragrant dressing of ginger and white miso. "For me, this salad embodies the Japanese saying 'shokuyoku no aki,' meaning 'the appetite of the fall season,' when we look to make dishes a bit heartier and more warming," says chef Shota Nakajima of Taku in Seattle, who shared this recipe with Food & Wine. "This salad combines the earthy sweetness of beets with the crisp acidity of Asian pear, and the complementary textures of the ingredients will keep you coming back for seconds. Simply dressed with an umami-forward miso-honey dressing and finished with toasted hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese, this dish can incorporate any root vegetables or tree fruits." You can speed up your salad prep by using store-bought sliced cooked beets in place of homemade.

Beet and Pear Salad
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins



  • 2 medium (about 6-ounce) beets

  • 2 cups blanched hazelnuts

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large (about 12-ounce) Asian pear

  • 10 ounces mizuna (about 10 cups) or arugula

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Miso-Honey Dressing

  • ½ cup rice vinegar

  • ½ cup canola oil

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white miso (such as Hikari)

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [2-inch] piece ginger)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil


Make the salad:

  1. Place beets in a medium saucepan with salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a gentle boil; cook until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Let beets cool 10 minutes. Peel beets, and slice using a mandoline into 1/8-inch-thick slices.

  2. While beets cook, preheat oven to 350°F. Toss together hazelnuts, olive oil, shichimi togarashi, sugar, and salt on a baking sheet. Spread hazelnuts evenly on sheet. Bake in preheated oven until hazelnuts are lightly toasted and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through bake time. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes. Transfer hazelnuts to a cutting board, and roughly chop. Set aside.

  3. Peel and core pear; slice crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Place pear slices in a large bowl filled with lightly salted ice water. Set aside.

Make the miso-honey dressing:

  1. Process rice vinegar, canola oil, honey, miso, olive oil, ginger, salt, and toasted sesame oil in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

  2. Drain pear, and pat dry. Toss together mizuna and 3/4 cup miso-honey dressing in a large bowl until evenly combined; divide evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with sliced beets and pear. Drizzle salads evenly with 1/4 cup miso-honey dressing. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup hazelnuts, reserving remaining hazelnuts for another use. Garnish with shaved Parmesan. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Make Ahead

Dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Suggested Pairing

Melony, crisp white: Bonny Doon Beeswax Vineyard Picpoul

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