Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans #ThanksgivingPotluck #Giveaway

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I am joining up with a group of superb bloggers for a Thanksgiving Potluck. If your menu for the holiday is not complete, you will find excellent inspiration in the amazing array of Thanksgiving recipes here today. After a week of cookie recipes, I decided to veer off the baking path and make a healthier autumnal dish…a spinach salad with pears, cranberries and candied pecans tossed with a simple maple vinaigrette. A green salad is the perfect way to balance out the carbo loading that is typical of our turkey day menu. This salad dressing with a touch of maple syrup is a new favorite…just incredible. Feel free to shake up the nuts…use walnuts or hazelnuts if you prefer. Toss in some blue cheese if you want a heartier salad. You’ll love this one.
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Thanksgiving is also the time of year when we reflect on all our blessings. While many of us will have a week’s worth of Thanksgiving leftovers from a bounty of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, not to mention the pies and desserts, many in America still go to bed hungry. Feeding America is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food for our nation’s hungry through a network of food banks. They also focus on building a community of volunteers to help with this most worthy cause. Please visit their website if you’re interested in learning more about ways you can help feed America. If you’re looking for an end of the year charitable donation, please consider Feeding America.

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans #ThanksgivingPotluck
Ingredients
Inspired by The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan
Salad dressing:
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Candied pecans:
  • ⅔ cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salad:
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ⅓ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 2 firm pears Bosc or Bartlett, unpeeled, quartered, cored and cut into thin slices
Instructions
  1. To make salad dressing, combine the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Set aside.
  2. To candy the nuts, melt butter in saucepan. Toss in pecans and mix till coated. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring, till caramelized. Place on parchment to cool.
  3. To assemble salad, toss spinach, onions and pears with dressing (rewhisk as needed). Top salad with cranberries and pecans.
Yield: 8 servings
Total time: 20 minutes
Note: you may soften your cranberries in a bit of salad dressing before adding to salad, if desired.

Please check out all these excellent recipes:

Erin from Texanerin Baking made Dulce de Leche Apple Streusel Bars
Caroline from Chocolate & Carrots made Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Jam
Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Christina from Dessert for Two made Mini Pumpkin Pies
Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction made Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes
Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures made Butternut Squash, Apple and Potato Gratin with Cheddar Crumb Topping
Georgia from The Comfort of Cooking made Spiced Caramel-Apple Crumb Bars
Kate from Diethood made Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
Gina from Running to the Kitchen made Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon, & Goat Cheese
Carla from Carla’s Confections made Spinach Mashed Potatoes
Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food made Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
Rachel from Rachel Cooks made Brussels Sprouts Salad with Green Apples and Cranberries
Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette
Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic made Mini Apple Pies

And now for the fun part…another giveaway!!! Follow the prompts below to enter to win one of two terrific prizes:

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Special thanks to Wusthof and Analon for sponsoring this giveaway.

 

Comments

  1. A very healthy salad Liz and the dressing sounds very tasty:@)

  2. I always need a green veggie at Thanksgiving. It makes whatever else I eat that day healthy 🙂

  3. That’s a great cause Liz and it’s wonderful that you’re spreading the word 🙂
    Love the sound of this healthy salad, it’s definitely great to have some lighter and healthier dishes to balance out the meal on the Thanksgiving table 🙂

  4. What a beautiful salad!

  5. What a great salad Liz, would love this for Thanksgiving for lunch today! Thank you so much for joining us today!

  6. While I adore your baking, this post has my name written all over it! Love the maple syrup in the dressing too, so Canadian! A feast for the eyes as well. Nicely done.

  7. Wow. I want that salad! And the salmon too 😉

  8. A variation of this salad is usually on our holiday table but I must try your maple dressing, it sounds wonderful!

  9. This looks way fancier than pot luck. I love this salad!

  10. Pear and cranberry is one of my favorite combos! This would be a gorgeous addition to any Thanksgiving table (and goodness knows we always need a few more greens in my family.) Thanks for the wonderful reminder to give back around the holidays too!

  11. I love a simple, elegant salad like this for fall parties! What a wonderful combination of flavors!

  12. Ooh, classy salad! Definitely a great way to balance the meal. I’m all about the carbs and turkey. 😀

    But really, this is awesome! A big bowl of nutrition on a plate. 🙂

  13. Nice salad. It would be a hit here!

  14. What a lovely salad, Liz! I would definitely make this one! Thank you for sharing.

  15. This is such a perfect fall salad Liz!

  16. Wow – love the combination of pears, cranberries and these candied pecans! Simply fabulous!

  17. This is a gorgeous salad, candied pecans? Delicious job 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

  18. Gorgeous salad, Liz! I adore the combination of ingredients in the dressing, that’s a must-make for me.

  19. I love pears with salad and spinach is one of my favorite salad greens.

  20. Lizzy,
    I love spinach. Your salad looks delicious. I bet goat cheese would be great in that salad too. Maple syrup in the dressing sound yummy too.
    Annamaria

  21. This salad is gorgeous! I love the idea of a maple vinaigrette. And thanks so much for educating us on this terrific cause.

  22. Liz, this looks so fresh and delicious. Love all your combination of flavors, textures and colors!

  23. I love salads like this and it’s perfect for fall. Pears, candied pecans and a vinaigrette with maple syrup – sounds luscious!

  24. I always get headache whenever there’s a potluck party. I’ve to admit it isn’t easy to come up with something that can be left on the table for a long time with the right temperate. Nice dish, Liz! Awesome giveaway! I reckoned those outside USA are not eligible? Can’t seem to find the rules…… Goodluck to all!

  25. This spinach salad sounds delicious. I love the candied pecans on top!

  26. A very tasty seasonal salad, Liz. Perfect with salmon.

  27. Oh Boy does that look beautiful and tasty!

    [btw – two of the fb likes are just blank on the form – don’t know who or what is missing]

  28. If honey is used in salad dressings why not maple syrup? Luscious looking spinach salad, Liz. Love all the gourmet garnishes =)

  29. Yum! What a wonderful salad to accompany the parade of dishes on a such important holiday!!!

  30. Adore spinach, pears and pecans. This is a fantastic and healthy salad for the holidays.

  31. I love pear salads. This looks very refreshing and I’m sure it’s good to have something like this on the table at Thanksgiving xx

  32. Awesome salad to go with your salmon. What an amazing giveaway!

  33. I make a very similar salad but add goat cheese. Such a great one for Thanksgiving!

  34. This is a lovely holiday salad. The pears are a lovely addition.

  35. Liz this is one gorgeous salad. I love all the additions in it. Not only pretty, but so much flavour involved. So thrilled to work with you on this lady. You know I love any chance for us to do things together.

    I’m so excited for this weekend. Bonding time, and some Thelma and Louise antics. See you soon. xx

  36. Even if we don’t do Thanksgiving on our side of the pond, I have to do this, Liz. Love the combinations of flavours and textures. Dried cranberries with savoury? Brilliant idea.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette Kim […]

  2. […] All Day I Dream About Food made Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrett Kim from […]

  3. […] Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette Kim […]

  4. […] Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette Kim […]

  5. […] Squash, Apple and Potato Gratin with Cheddar Crumb Topping Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan […]

  6. […] Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic made Mini Apple […]

  7. […] Sprouts Salad with Green Apples and Cranberries Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan […]

  8. […] Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette Kim […]

  9. […] Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans | That Skinny Chick Can Bake […]

  10. […] Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans […]

  11. […] Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans | That Skinny Chick Can Bake […]

  12. […] was tempted by a couple of her fall salads (Spinach Salad with Pears and Cranberries or Apple Cherry Walnut Salad) but hey, “That Skinny Chick Can Bake” so I settled on a […]

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