Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pear & Pecan Mixed Green Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Fall salad was so easy to make, and tasted really good! The maple balsamic vinaigrette had just the right amount of maple syrup in it without being overpowering, which complemented the pears and pecans very well.  I whisked the ingredients for the dressing together right before we ate the salad, and it still had a great flavor even though it hadn't sat to marinate.  That being said, I am sure the flavor of the dressing would be even better the next day after sitting in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.  

This is a great salad to have alongside a Fall-type soup, such as the the Carrot, Ginger & Sweet Potato Soup that I made and posted yesterday. Or this would also go really well with chicken or some grilled fish.

Pear & Pecan Mixed Green Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 organic red pears, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 oz organic spring mix lettuce


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

2. To make maple balsamic vinaigrette, combine shallot, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk together

3. To assemble salad, place 2 cups spring mix on salad plate, top with a handful of pear and 2 Tbsp pecans. Drizzle with dressing.

(recipe adapted from

What are the nutritional benefits of this salad? The dark green leaf lettuces in spring mix are a great source of iron and vitamins A and C. Pecans are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids and phenolic antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins and minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Pears are a great source of vitamin C and fiber. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and aid in blood sugar control. 

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