Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad with Pears and Candied Pecans

Ingredients For Dressing:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 to 4 tbsp finely chopped red onions

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup oil (EVOO makes the dressing take on a greenier tone, but a vegetable or grain-based oil gives the dressing the bright pink colour you see in the picture above)

 

  • Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender (I use my mini-chopper), and blend well.
  • While running, add oil in a steady stream until the dressing becomes thick and smooth.

 

Ingredients For Candied Pecans:

1 cup pecan halves (or 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup walnuts)

1/3 cup brown sugar, firmy packed

2 tbsp butter, melted

 

  • Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl and then spread on a lightly greased baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (which I prefer because it means less clean-up!)
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even coating.
  • Let cool and set aside. Once the mixture is cool and looks like brittle, just crumble and put into a container with a lid. The nuts can be kept in a fridge for at least two weeks (although they don't last that long at our house!)

Salad:

  • 10 oz of spinach leaves
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Crumbled blue cheese (frankly I don't measure this - as much as you would like!)
  • Red Onion Vinaigrette
  • Candied Pecans
  • Combine the first three ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the candied pecans
  • ENJOY!