In the fall and winter, this Spinach Pear Salad with Cranberries and Blue Cheese will make you forget that you’ve been longing for garden tomatoes and summer produce. It’s both delicious and memorable!
This delicious Spinach Salad Recipe is perfect for fall featuring autumn fruit, pears and cranberries.
Spinach Pear Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
This salad hits all the marks. My ideal green salad must have fresh fruit, dried fruit, cheese, and nuts. An irresistible salad dressing doesn’t hurt either! For this fall salad, I went with Bartlett pears, dried cranberries, a creamy blue cheese, and toasted almonds. Fall salads can be just as amazing as the peak of the season summer salads!
Fall Spinach Salad Recipe
By the time my dinner club could agree on a date, it was early December. My Oktoberfest theme was out, so I just went with an autumnal vibe.
This spinach pear salad would make a lovely light lunch, a terrific addition to a big family meal and is even elegant enough for special company. If you’re not into pears and blue cheese, try the lovely poppy seed dressing on your favorite spinach salad!
More Seasonal Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Fall Harvest Salad from A Beautiful Plate
- Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fall Salad with Maple Candied Pecans, Bacon, Apples, and Shaved Brussels Sprouts from Bless This Mess
- Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fall Quinoa Salad from Amanada’s Cookin’
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 Bartlett pears, cored, cut into quarters, then thinly sliced (prep right before serving so they don't oxidize, or coat them with salad dressing)
- 4 ounces blue cheese, cut or broken into small chunks
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
- 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in ice water for 15 minutes to mellow the bite
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Divide spinach onto 4 plates or salad bowls. Arrange the rest of the ingredients over spinach.*
Make dressing by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a Pyrex measuring cup or mixing bowl. Whisk in the honey.** Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture emulsifies. Whisk in the poppy seeds.
Pour dressing over salad, making sure to lightly coat the pears to prevent oxidation.
*To prevent the pears from oxidizing (turning brown), you may want to cut them right before serving. Alternatively, toss the pear slices in some the salad dressing up to an hour before serving to prevent browning.
**Originally, I added the honey and poppy seeds at the same time. That made a mixture that was tough to emulsify. It still worked but took a little more muscle.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 29g Cholesterol: 21mg Sodium: 624mg Carbohydrates: 35g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 25g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g