Friday, February 26, 2010

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion, and Toasted Nuts

Hearty, carb-laden meals have dominated our dinner table the past few weeks. Turkey and noodles ladled over a mountain of mashed potatoes. Carb on carb action. Culinary redundancy at its grandest. I blame such irrational menu planning on the Arctic temperatures we've been experiencing.

The middle of this week I decided I needed to eat something green, so I prepared a salad.

Ten years ago I would have never prepared a salad with fruit. I'd grimace at the thought of pears nestling next to red onions. Kansans for the most part don't like to mix fruits mixed with vegetables or savory mixed with sweet.

Anyway, I made this salad, I loved it, and it loved me back by adding a little color to my pale complexion.

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion, and Toasted Nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup thinly slice red onion
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stemmed if needed
  • 2 firm, but ripe pears, quartered lengthwise, cored and cut into long, thin slices
  • 2/3 cups hazelnuts, toast and chopped (I used pecans, so feel free to substitute)

  1. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Place lid tightly on jar and shake dressing to blend. Taste and season accordingly. Set aside.

  2. Toss all the onion, spinach, and pears in a large bowls. Coat with dressing and toss again. Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl, and scatter the cranberries and hazlenuts over the top.

  3. Serve.

eat your veggies,


1 comment:

muddywaters said...

When I'm toasting nuts, I think: "I'm toasting my nuts." Then I chuckle like a junior high boy. I do the same thing when I cut cheese.