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
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.
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.
Please check out all these excellent Thanksgiving 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
- Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans
Things you may need for this recipe:
- 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
- 2/3 cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 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
- To make salad dressing, combine the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Set aside.
- 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.
- To assemble salad, toss spinach, onions and pears with dressing (rewhisk as needed). Top salad with cranberries and pecans.
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.
Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 329mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g