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Shaved Fennel Asian Pear Salad with Pomegranate and Watercress

A fresh, flavorful salad made with Asian pears, shaved fennel, pomegranate, and watercress topped with a delicious vanilla bean vinaigrette.

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 large bunch watercress, washed, stems trimmed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 2 medium firm, but ripe, Asian pears
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • Pinch sea salt


  1. Have a medium mixing bowl filled with cool water. Add the lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Cut the tough stalks and trim the bottom of the fennel bulb. Cut it in half lengthwise and remove the core by cutting a v-shape and carefully twisting the knife to get it out. Thinly shave the fennel using a very sharp knife, mandoline, or food processor slicing attachment. Place the fennel into the bowl of lemon water to keep it from turning brown.
  3. Cut the pear in quarters and remove the core, then carefully cut into very thin slices with a sharp knife, or using one of the other methods mentioned above. Place the pear slices in the water with the fennel.
  4. Arrange the watercress in a bowl or on a large platter. Drain the fennel and pears well and add them to the platter. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils and hazelnuts on top.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla bean paste, and pinch sea salt. (Or shake together in a small jar with tight-fitting lid.)
  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Salad