07/18/2016 Spinach Salad with Pears

Spinach Salad with Pears

Recipe Courtesy of Cindy Schumacher

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 firm but ripe Bosc pears (do not peel), quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut into long, thin slices

To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

Place the onions in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes. This crisps the onion and takes away the raw onion taste. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.

In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of the dressing to soften them. Set aside for 20 minutes.

To assemble the salad, place the spinach, onions, and pears in a large bowl. Give the remaining dressing a shake and pour over the salad. Toss to coat evenly. Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl or divide it evenly among 8 salad plates. Scatter the cranberries and almonds over the top. Serve immediately.