This delicate baby spinach salad incorporates wonderful winter fruits and sharp creamy cheese giving it delicious contrasting flavors. The fresh ripe pears have a natural sweetness to them, while the pomegranate arils give a pop of tartness. Finishing the salad is a dressing adding even more fruit flavors!
- 9 Ounces Baby Spinach Leaves
- 2 Ripe Pears, varietal-your choice
- 3/4 Cup Candied Pecans
- 3 Ounce Feta or Bleu Cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 Cup Pomegranate Arils, can substitute dried cranberries
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Raw Pecans Halves
Start by making the candied pecans so they can cool while you complete the rest of the salad prep or they can be made ahead of time.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted add in the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Add the pecans and stir until well coated. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often and staying right near the pan. Cook until the pecans begin to darken and give off a toasted, nutty aroma.
Transfer the candied pecans to the prepared sheet pan, arranging in an even layer. Let cool to room temperature. They will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
To make the Balsamic Vinaigrette whisk together the More Than Olives Cranberry Pear Balsamic and the More Than Olives Blood Orange Olive Oil in a small bowl until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you end up with extra dressing, it will keep in a sealed container on your counter for up to a week.
If you have purchased a whole pomegranate, cut it open and remove the seeds. Removing the seeds will take a bit of time so definitely do this before starting the salad. If you purchased just the pomegranate arils, then begin creating the salad.
Toss together the spinach leaves, candied pecans, crumbled cheese and pomegranates arils in a large bowl.
Sliced pears will brown quickly, so leave them to do last. Remove the core from the pears and thinly slice. Leave the skins on the pears.
Layer the pear slices into the mixed salad and drizzle the salad with the dressing. Gently toss the salad and serve right away. Enjoy!