I’m on a quest to make my salads absolutely delicious. It’s so easy to eat tons of vegetables if you can make a salad that is almost addicting.
As my brother has said, “What makes a salad good is a high quantity of non-salad ingredients in it.” Non-salad ingredients referring to things like bacon, nuts, cheese, fruit, etc. as opposed to lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. I mean, he’s right. I won’t deny it. Whatever helps you eat those greens, right? However, those non-salad ingredients can be very high-cal low-nutrients, which kind of defeats the purpose of eating a salad in my book. So there has got to be a happy medium, right? That’s what I’m after.
Eating a large salad every day is one of the number one habits of healthy, fit people; because there is nothing more nutritious than leafy greens. I need to do better in this category. I’m testing lots of oil-free salad dressings right now, and I have found some good ones that I’ll be sharing soon!
This salad is a little bit of a compromise, however. There are 2 tablespoons of olive oil in this dressing, even though oil doesn’t usually make an appearance on this blog. You could probably omit it, but I’m usually making this salad for a crowd who is not used to oil-free fare.
I’ve made this three times in the past couple of weeks–once for a large church lunch and twice for dinners with friends at my house–and every time it is a hit. Soft, juicy pear slices with toasted pecans, chewy craisins, and a sweet maple balsamic dressing over fresh spring mix……it’s delicious! It’s also very quick to put together. The red, green, and white colors make it perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmastime.
A green salad that is both delicious and beautiful--perfect for a fall lunch or a holiday meal.
- 8 cups spring mix
- 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced (I've used red or Bartlett)
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp brown spicy mustard or Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Put pecans on plate and microwave for 1 minute. Stir, and microwave another 30-60 seconds until fragrant but not burned. This gives them a toasted flavor.
In a glass measuring up, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together.
Toss greens with dressing, then top with pears, pecans, and cranberries.
Make sure to buy pears a few days in advance so they can ripen, as most grocery stores sell them green.
Adapted from BettyCrocker.com.