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Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans in a white ceramic serving bowl

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans

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Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans are a refreshing and lovely autumnal salad that’s a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table!

The typical Thanksgiving table is loaded with carb heavy dishes. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, salads drenched in sweetened whipped cream, dinner rolls, pies and more! A simple green salad is the perfect healthier addition, especially one with fabulous fall flavors!

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans in a white ceramic serving bowl

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans

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. This Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans is tossed with a simple, yet memorable,  maple vinaigrette.

A green salad is the perfect way to balance out the carb 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.

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans on a white plate with a salmon fillet

Feeding America

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 in a white serving bowl sitting on a red napkin with silver serving utensils

Please check out all these excellent Thanksgiving recipes:

Things you may need for this recipe:

Utility Knife

Whisk

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans

Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans

A tasty spinach salad with an autumnal flair!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

Salad dressing:

  • 1/2 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:

  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Salad:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 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.

Notes

Inspired by The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan.

You may soften your cranberries in a bit of salad dressing before adding to salad, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 8mg Sodium: 329mg Carbohydrates: 21g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 15g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
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