roasted pear and spinach salad

Remember my blog 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Spinach? #2 was ‘it’s delicious on its own’ and it certainly was in this salad!

I love adding fresh fruit to a salad to give it more color, flavor and texture. It also gives more zing to a plain salad! I have to say, this is the first time I ever roasted pears and added them to any salad. Just delicious! I added cooked red quinoa to the salad to give it a little more nutritional benefits and you can easily use white quinoa if you prefer.

I know not everyone is a fan of spinach, but you can swap it for other greens. Have you seen my recipe for Kale, Quinoa and Grilled Peach Salad? Yummy too!

I’d love to hear from you! Do you use any grilled fruit in your spinach salads?
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below:)

Roasted Pear and Spinach Salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 4 Bosc pears, quartered lengthwise and cleaned
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • Spinach, cleaned and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Optional protein choices:

  • crumbled goat cheese
  • diced cooked chicken
  • Gorgonzola cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cooked fish

Directions:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°F. Place the walnut pieces on the lined sheet and lightly toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Raise the temperature of the oven to 375°F, and line a cookie sheet with fresh parchment paper. Lightly coat the cut pears with olive oil and place the cut pears on the sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the pears are tender and golden.

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper together until smooth. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. Transfer to a storage container and set aside.

Prepare the salad by mixing together the spinach, toasted walnuts, cooked quinoa and dried cranberries in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing as needed (you may have leftover dressing depending on how big of a salad you make) and then add the roasted pears.

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