Tender greens, juicy pears, crimson cranberries and toasted hazelnuts make a festive salad to start all those special holiday meals. Be sure to soak the onions in water as directed—it takes away the unpleasant raw onion taste.
- Yield:serves 4 to 6
- Total time:20 minutes
- For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stemmed if needed
- 2 firm but ripe pears (do not peel), quartered lengthwise, cored and cut into long, thin slices
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Cover tightly and shake to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place the onions in a medium bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.
To assemble the salad, place the spinach, onions, and pears in a large bowl. Give the dressing a last-minute shake and pour, little by little, over the salad until greens are adequately dressed. Toss to coat evenly, then taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl and scatter the cranberries and hazelnuts over the top. Serve immediately.