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Fruit And Nut Winter Salad

Fruit And Nut Winter Salad

With the New Year comes a desire for healthier eating.  This Fruit And Nut Winter Salad is a delicious, healthy way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet.  With a quick and easy, homemade balsamic dressing, this is a salad that the whole family will love.

White plate with a serving of fruit and nut winter salad with spinach, mesclun greens, apple, pear, cranberries, feta cheese, and pecans.  There is also a homemade balsamic vinegar dressing.

This salad has it all.  Crunchy nuts, sweet fruit, chewy dried fruit, creamy cheese, and two types of greens.  What’s not to love!  It makes for a light, yet satisfying lunch that won’t give you the three o’clock sleepiness.  Toss in some grilled chicken or shrimp for a quick weeknight dinner.

Fruit And Nut Winter Spinach Salad

Part of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is to use seasonal produce.  It’s fresher, and often tastier than imported fruits and vegetables. As for me, I like supporting our local farms as well.

Winter produce, at least here in Florida, often includes peppery arugula, spinach, red beets, swiss chard, oranges, apples, pears, just to name a few.  If you are wondering what’s locally available each month in your area, this website is a great resource to check out.

White plate with a serving of fruit and nut winter salad with spinach, mesclun greens, apple, pear, cranberries, feta cheese, and pecans.  There is also a homemade balsamic vinegar dressing.

Ingredients Needed

The best part of a recipe like this one is that you can use what you have on hand or what’s available at the grocery.

For the dressing you’ll need:

  • Honey – or another sweetener that you enjoy.  Maple syrup, agave syrup, or pureed dates are all great.  You could also use artificial sweetener or sugar as well.
  • Dijon mustard – this adds flavor, but also helps to emulsify the dressing.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar – use the everyday stuff for this dressing and save the more expensive, aged balsamic for other things.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – I like using quality olive oil in salad dressings.  The flavor it offers can’t be matched with a cheaper brand.  
  • Parmesan cheese – this adds flavor, texture, and saltiness.

For the salad:

  • Toasted nuts – I used pecans, but walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts are all great.
  • Baby spinach and baby mesclun salad greens
  • A ripe pear – I used a Bartlet pear, but bosc or any other pear works.
  • Apple – I used a granny smith apple for crunch and tartness.
  • Craisins – you could also use raisins or any other dried fruit.
  • Cheese – I like using herbed feta for extra flavor and creaminess.  Goat cheese, cubed brie, fresh mozzarella, or shredded cheddar would all be delicious in this salad.  Omit the cheese for a vegan salad.

White plate with a serving of fruit and nut winter salad with spinach, mesclun greens, apple, pear, cranberries, feta cheese, and pecans.  There is also a homemade balsamic vinegar dressing.

If you enjoyed this salad recipe, here are a few more to consider:

Grain salads:

Bean salads:

Salads with a ‘cooked’ component:

Classic salads:

New and different salads:

Print
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White plate with a serving of fruit and nut winter salad with spinach, mesclun greens, apple, pear, cranberries, feta cheese, and pecans. There is also a homemade balsamic vinegar dressing.

Fruit And Nut Winter Salad


Description

With the New Year comes a desire for healthier eating.  This Fruit And Nut Winter Salad is a delicious, healthy way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet.  With a quick and easy, homemade balsamic dressing, this is a salad that the whole family will love.


Ingredients

Scale

For the dressing:

For the salad:

  • ½ cup toasted pecan halves
  • 10-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 2 cups baby mesclun salad mix
  • 1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (I used orange flavored Craisins)
  • 8-ounce block herbed feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Make the dressing:

Combine all the ingredients in a half-quart mason jar or large measuring cup.  With a whisk or an immersion blender combine until the mixture has thickened and is emulsified.  Cover and chill until needed.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl, toss together all of the ingredients.

Spoon ¼ cup of the dressing on top of the salad.  Toss to coat completely.

Serve immediately with additional dressing on the side.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Starter - Salads
  • Method: Whisk and Toss
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: fruit and nut winter salad, salad recipes, farm to table, local produce, recipes using local produce, healthy recipes, vegetarian, light lunch, easy weeknight meals,

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