Salad with Pears, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese

I made this salad for our Thanksgiving dinner and quite frankly hadn't thought of it much since then... until today that is. I have some cinnamon sugar pecans toasting in the oven and was reminded of the lovely candied pecans on this fantastic salad - definitely long overdue in posting this recipe.

The combination of the goat cheese, pears and pecans along with the delicious and easy vinaigrette and voila - you have this amazing and simple salad that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. Make it for your dinner party to please your guests or for a week night dinner - if you add some roasted chicken you've got yourself a meal. I found this recipe on fellow food-blogger's site - Food & Whine. Jen's blog is a great resource when you're looking for any kind of recipe - check it out when you have a minute!

Salad with Pears, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese
Recipe from Food & Whine
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp liquid honey
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves or mixed greens
  • 1 large ripe pear, thinly sliced or cut into matchsticks
  • 2 oz goat cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Rinse pecans in cold water, drain but do not let them dry. Combine icing sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in a small bowl. Toss pecans in the mixture and coat them well. Spread on the prepared baking tray.
  3. Bake 8-15 minutes in center of the oven. Keep a close eye on them - they burn quickly. Remove and cool. Set aside.
  4. Combine spinach, pear and goat cheese in a large bowl.
  5. Whisk the juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, garlic, honey and mustard together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with the pecans.

**Note: candied pecans can be made up to two weeks in advance: make ahead and store in an airtight container.

This is a great salad - even people who don't usually like salad will like this one! The flavours are delicious and it is on the sweeter side. No scary vegetables in this salad - its all down-to-earth, easy-to-find ingredients. Hope you enjoy this one!
Happy Cooking my Friends!

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