Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spinach & Blue Cheese Salad with Pears and Candied Pecans!!!

I know many of you have had the opportunity to taste and enjoy this salad, but it wasn't until I looked through all the recipes that I have posted, that I realized I have never officially posted this recipe (although I have had written it out many time for friends and have included it on the recipe section of the "Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze" website that I am in charge of) here it is! I even included photos of the dressing and completed salad to whet your appetites!!
I had a similar salad at "Quigley's" in Toronto and enjoyed it so much that when I came home, I decided to experiment and try reproducing the flavours at home. The difference that I made was to create a red onion vinaigrette dressing as opposed to a sweeter one that was used at the restaurant.
Ingredients For Dressing:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 to 4 tbsp finely chopped red onions
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup oil (EVOO makes the dressing take on a greenier tone, but a vegetable or grain-based oil gives the dressing the bright pink colour you see in the picture above)
  • Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender (I use my mini-chopper), and blend well.
  • While running, add oil in a steady stream until the dressing becomes thick and smooth.

Ingredients For Candied Pecans:

1 cup pecan halves (or 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup walnuts)

1/3 cup brown sugar, firmy packed

2 tbsp butter, melted

  • Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl and then spread on a lightly greased baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (which I prefer because it means less clean-up!)
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even coating.
  • Let cool and set aside. Once the mixture is cool and looks like brittle, just crumble and put into a container with a lid. The nuts can be kept in a fridge for at least two weeks (although they don't last that long at our house!)


10 oz bag of baby spinach leaves

2 ripe pears, peeled and cut into chunks

Crumbled blue cheese (frankly I don't measure this - as much as you would like!)

Red Onion Vinaigrette

Candied Pecans

  • Combine the first three ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the candied pecans
  • ENJOY!!!


  1. I've been really curious about this CSA program. I looked at the link, but there's no delivery out this way (and we're not here for much longer anyway). Is there a site to check out for other farms participating?

  2. Where are you located? I know that Steve & Lisa Cooper have greatly expanded their delivery area. Failing that, just check out for a farm near you!!!