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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nutty, Cheesy, Fruity Fall Salad

I just browsed through's TOP 10 LIST.  Among their salads, this one stood out to me.  I made it last night and it was so delicious that I am making it again tonight!  When I told my husband what I was making for dinner he whined and complained saying "I don't like spinach salads!"  Well, needless to say, he ate it, and he LOVED it!  I made it as a side dish paired with chicken.

Serves 2 (as a side salad)


1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp dijon mustard
1/2 Tsp sugar
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1/4 Cup chopped red onion
1/4 Cup sweetened dried cranberries or craisins
2 Cups firmly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1 Ripe pear, sliced
1/4 Cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 Cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts or pecans

To Make:

To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend.  Taste and adjust seasonings to liking.  Set aside.

Place the onions in a medium bowl and soak with cold water for 30 minutes.  This crisps the onion and takes away the raw onion taste.  Drain well and pat dry.

In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with 2 Tbsp of the dressing to soften them.  Set aside.

To assemble the salad, place the spinach, onions, cranberries, toasted nuts, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced pears in a large serving bowl.  Drizzle with remaining dressing and toss to coat evenly.  Voila!

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